NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

NSM Fall 2023 Update

Enrollment Overview

The Fall 2023 semester will begin on August 21, and students, staff, and faculty are gearing up for a great semester. NSM’s undergraduate headcount is up by 5.6% with over 1,250 new FTICs and transfer students, and undergraduate SCH is up by 5.0% compared to Fall 2022. We are slightly above the pre-pandemic numbers for headcount and near the numbers for SCH which is a great sign that we are returning to some sense of normalcy.

The Office of First Year Programs and the NSM Undergraduate Academic Advising Center will continue to reach out to students who have attended orientation but have not enrolled and to students who were enrolled in Spring 2023 but have not yet enrolled for Fall 2023.

Fall 2023 Syllabus Language

Updated syllabus language can be found on the NSM syllabus template which includes all required and recommended optional information.

Volunteers for NSM Block Party

Back by popular demand, the Office of First Year Programs is hosting the NSM Block Party to welcome NSM incoming freshmen and returning students. Last year, over 350 students attended the event.

NSM Block Party
Sunday, August 20, 2023
6–9 p.m.
Grassy Rotunda Area in Front of SR1

We need volunteers to supervise the activities and engage with students; no heavy lifting or strenuous activity required!

See the link below for volunteer shifts starting at 6 p.m. with set up and running through the end of the event at 9 p.m. All NSM Block Party volunteers will receive our newly designed 2023 NSM t-shirts!


Support the Event as a Sponsor!

In addition to volunteers, we are also looking for individual or department sponsors. Sponsorship options are available from $25 and up. For example, last year, a sponsor provided popsicles for the event while another sponsor provided funds for rental of an inflatable obstacle course. If you are interested in a sponsorship, please email Dr. Donna Stokes (dstokes@uh.edu) for more details. Feel free to share this info with others who might be interested in joining the fun. Contact Dr. Stokes if you have any questions!

UH Hosts CRISPR in the Classroom Workshop

UH hosted the CRISPR in the Classroom Network Workshop July 17-21. Steering Committee members arrived on July 17 to set up the lab space and organize the sessions. Workshop participants arrived on July 18 for hands-on training with the now ubiquitous gene editing technique in life science research. The workshop is funded by a $500K National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network in Undergraduate Biology Education grant over 5 years.

Dr. Donna Pattison, the PI, is leading the project to streamline the implementation of CRISPR-Cas9 into undergraduate laboratory classrooms. Specifically, the funding provides workshops to educators, a versatile laboratory kit with curriculum, and mentoring support through the CRISPR in the Classroom Network. This is helpful for instructors who completed their formal education before the CRISPR revolution.

Twenty participants from 14 different two- and four-year institutions came to UH for the workshop. Eight of the institutions represented were classified as either HBCUs or HSIs. The workshop was implemented by network members from five institutions from across the U.S. Participants began planning how they will integrate CRISPR gene editing techniques into their laboratory courses and manage discussions on the ethics of gene editing, particularly in germline cells, in the next year.

In addition, a half-day condensed version of the workshop was led by Dr. Pattison to support five faculty and staff members from Houston Community College who could not attend the summer workshop due to a scheduling conflict. They learned the methodology and discussed the appropriate leveling needed for introductory courses.

The 2024 summer workshop will be hosted by Pomona College in California as the network attempts to establish regional “hubs” of expertise around the country. UH serves both as the home of the network and a Gulf Coast hub.

NSM Career Center Director to Serve as Co-Chair of a NACE Affinity Group

Dawnelle Prince, director of the NSM Career Center, has been invited by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) to serve as co-chair for the Individuals Serving & Recruiting Hispanic/Latin@x & HSI Students Affinity Group. Dawnelle will hold a two-year term serving alongside the current co-chairs for one year and then taking a leading role in her second year. She will be instrumental in ushering in a new co-chair to continue the work of the group which lies at the national forefront for recruitment, growth, and development of Hispanic/LatinX and HSI’s programming. During this time, Dawnelle will have the opportunity to facilitate monthly meetings, develop agendas and programming content, and engage with other NACE Affinity Groups to develop educational content for its membership. She will also have the opportunity to engage with a broader community on ways employers can connect with students and share resources for advancing the services of the NSM Career Center.

teachHOUSTON hosts a New Teacher Academy

The teachHOUSTON program held a New Teacher Academy July 12-14 to support their new alumni STEM teachers. The three-day conference-style workshop was tailored to the novice teachers’ needs and interests, and to building a community of collaborative peers through experiential mentoring. Support was provided to implement promising practices in professional learning communities, promote student-centered classroom instruction, explore culturally responsive pedagogy and management, and build collegial relationships. This endeavor was funded by CenterPoint Energy, the National Math and Science Initiative, and a National Science Foundation grant. teachHOUSTON faculty involved included Amanda Campos, Paige Evans, Cheryl Latiolais, Ramona Mateer, and Perri Segura. Karen McIntush, a postdoctoral fellow, also participated.

Summer Scholars Academy Hosts Career Panels

The TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy hosted two career panels in July. The first panel, held on July 14, consisted of three UH alumni – Chris Pinto, an experimental learning consultant, Alexei Korovin, a senior technical project leader from Halliburton who is one of program sponsors, and Dr. Vanessa Nzeh, a pediatrician. The second panel, held on July 18, consisted of employees from the program’s title sponsor, TC Energy. Panelists included Leti Garza, a measurement services team leader, Eric Miller, director of marketing and NSM Dean’s Advisory Board member, and Shreya Ramesh, project manager for natural gas growth. Through these panels, students learned the importance of networking and building connections, maintaining work-life balance, and what it means to be a professional in a STEM career.