NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

NSM Students Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Image Alt On April 3, 29 NSM students were inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, which recognizes and honors exceptional academic achievement in the arts and sciences. Each year, UH invites a few select students to join the society based on their liberal arts and sciences coursework and strong academic achievement. Ninety-four UH students were inducted in April. As members of Phi Beta Kappa, the students will be able to connect with a network of outstanding members across a vast listing of career fields, including 17 U.S. Presidents, 42 Supreme Court Justices, and more than 150 Nobel Laureates.

Spring Open Advising Event

On April 4, the NSM Undergraduate Advising Center hosted a spring advising event designed to address questions from students as they prepared for the upcoming enrollment cycle. Advising staff hosted 115 students during the four-hour event. Students enjoyed donuts, muffins, coffee, and juices during their wait, took spring-themed pictures in a photo booth curated by NSM-IT, and mingled with invited College and campus partners including the Scholar Enrichment Program, NSM Career Center, CAPS, and Learning Abroad. The event organizers were Sherrina Lofton and Sandra Merino. Congrats to them and the entire advising staff for pulling off a successful and enjoyable time for all!

Day of Discovery Campus Visit for Olle Middle School

NSM hosted 32 students from CITGO Innovation Academy at Olle Middle School on March 24. The students attended three STEM sessions, received a short campus tour, and ate lunch on campus. Sessions included Electron Microscope and Superconductivity with James Meen and Karoline Mueller, Lighting Up Modules with Thomas Teets, and Plastics and Chemistry with Eva Harth’s graduate students.

NSM Career Center Updates

NSM Career Center Hires Career Counselor

The NSM Career Center welcomes Lee Ann Lawrence, career counselor, to its team. Lawrence served 29 years in public education as an Interdisciplinary Team Leader, Content Team Leader, and Social Studies Department Chairperson. Through this role, Lawrence wants to help students to achieve their educational goals and successfully transition to the next phase of their life, employment, or post-secondary education. Throughout the years, her passion for students and aiding in student success has prepared her for this new role.

She will concentrate her efforts on holding individual career counseling sessions with students to provide guidance, instruction on using the HireNSM platform to its full potential, and building student resources for career success. Since arriving, Lawrence set up and customized the Student Counseling Module in HireNSM to allow students to schedule counseling appointments and to meet with students virtually. To get students engaged, Lawrence sent NSM students a video introduction of herself, messages inviting them to schedule a counseling appointment, and information on career fairs and other events available for NSM students.

UH Partnership with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Continues to Grow

On April 29, Donna Stokes, NSM Associate Dean, and Dawnelle Prince, NSM Career Center Director, attended Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s Corporate Leaders Luncheon at the Petroleum Club of Houston. The luncheon celebrated the many donors and non-profit organizations who support the Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study Program by providing employment opportunities for their students. NSM serves as a partner with the school providing internship opportunities in many of NSM units including the NSM Career Center and the Departments of Physics and Biology and Biochemistry.

At the event, Cristo Rey senior Raul De Anda gave a wonderful speech on how his internship experience has positively impacted his academic and future career direction. We hope to grow the number of internship positions in NSM and create a recruitment pipeline for these students to UH.

teachHOUSTON Updates

teachHOUSTON Hosts Houston-Area High School District Leaders

The teachHOUSTON program hosted its annual VIP District Luncheon on March 24 at UH. Nearly 30 instructional leaders, principals, and human resources representatives from Houston-area school districts attended. Students from the teachHOUSTON program hosted a gallery walk to showcase artifacts from their summer internship experiences as well as products produced during program coursework. Students networked with district professionals, and many were offered job opportunities during and shortly thereafter the event.

The teachHOUSTON team of faculty and staff (Amanda Campos, Jacqueline Ekeoba, Paige Evans, Cheryl Latiolais, Mariam Manuel, Ramona Mateer, Leah McAlister-Shields, Karen McIntosh, and Perri Segura) presented statistics about the current state of STEM education and shared information about how the teachHOUSTON program is meeting the challenge of recruiting, producing, and retaining highly qualified secondary STEM teachers. The event planning and coordination was spearheaded by Mariam Manuel. The next VIP District Luncheon will take place in spring 2024.

teachHOUSTON Participates in UH Sibling Day Event

The teachHOUSTON program hosted hands-on STEM activities for the over 100 participants, including students and parents, for the UH Dean of Students Parent and Family Program’s Sibling Day on March 25. The event spearheaded by Associate Dean of Students Jerrell Sherman provided an opportunity for high school students to learn more about UH, getting into college, and campus life and traditions. The activities were designed and led by Mariam Manuel along with 16 teachHOUSTON student volunteers who helped facilitate and guide students.

Teacher Interest Group Focuses on Sustainable Education Solutions

On March 31, teachHOUSTON hosted a Teacher Interest Group for their pre-service secondary STEM teachers as part of the UH Advancing Cultural and Computational Engagement in STEM Scholars (UH-ACCESS) NSF grant. The Teacher Interest Group offers support and provides opportunities to help pre-service teachers teach underrepresented student populations and connect to their communities. John Williams III, a Texas A&M assistant professor of multicultural and urban education, presented “If YOU Build it, They Will Come: Disrupting to Offer Sustainable Educational Solutions.” The UH-ACCESS $1.2 million grant program is in year 3 and is led by Paige Evans, Donna Stokes, Jaspal Subhlok, and Weihang Zhu.