NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

Scholar Enrichment Program Workshop Expansion

The Scholar Enrichment Program (SEP) is expanding its Fall 2022 workshop offerings to include a College Algebra workshop and a rescue workshop for Fundamentals of Chemistry. These workshop additions were recommendations by faculty committees from the respective departments who participated in the UH engagement in the Gardner Institute Gateway to Completion project. These workshops will help improve the success of NSM and non-NSM majors.

In addition to these offerings, the SEP Engineering Math workshops will no longer be tied to specific sections of the course. Students enrolled in any section of that course may enroll in the workshops offered for Engineering Math. These additions/improvements will expand the resources offered by SEP which should allow for an increase in the number of students enrolled in the supplemental instruction workshop which may lead to improved student success.

NSM Admissions and Enrollment Update

Now, nearly half-way through the summer orientation season, NSM has admitted a total of 3,147 First-Time-in-College (FTIC) students for Fall 2022. Current enrollment is at 50% of our enrollment goal of 1,050 FTIC students.

NSM placed a strong emphasis on building a diverse FTIC 2022 cohort. One focus is to increase the number of Black students as they were underrepresented in the 2020 and 2021 FTIC cohorts. NSM’s current enrollment of Black students is at 9%. In comparison, the 2021 final enrollment was 4%, so this shows significant growth in this area. If these trends continue through the second half of summer orientations, we expect to reach the enrollment goals set for Fall 2022.

TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy

TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy Students The TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy kicked off on June 13. Through the program, 48 FTIC freshmen, who want to be NSM and Engineering majors, will have the opportunity to get a jump start on college life. The annual summer bridge program offers participants an opportunity to earn credit for Calculus 1, provides a preview of Chemistry 1, and also engages students in a mini-College Success course.

Additionally, Summer Scholars participate in Career Panels and Lunch and Learn events with TC Energy professionals and UH alumni.

Lunch and Learn

On June 22, the SSA students participated in a Lunch and Learn hosted by TC Energy’s Community Involvement Lead, Trevence Mitchell, and Charles Hearne, Advisor, Community and Workforce Giving. Their discussion on time management and its importance for student success was well received by the students as it reinforced information they had received earlier in the summer in their College Success mini-course facilitated by Dr. Donna Smith, Program Director in UH Exploratory Studies.

Career Panels

The first career panel, held June 29, engaged the students with industry professionals, allowing them to learn about the wide variety of careers available to STEM majors. Panelists included Natalie Sumrow, NSM Undergraduate Academic Advising Center; Kay Thomson, executive director, British American Foundation of Texas; and Juan Ramirez, PE, civil engineer at 5engineering. During the event, panelists discussed their career paths as well as shared stories of resilience when they had to work through setbacks, failures, and barriers. This helped demonstrate that the pathway to success is not always a straight line and that there are many ways to achieve one’s goals.

NSM Career Center to Launch in Fall 2022

The newly formed NSM Career Center is moving full steam ahead with plans to have an online presence this fall. The Center’s current priority is to go live with HireNSM, a robust career management system that will exclusively serve NSM students, faculty, and employers seeking to hire our students.

Through the system, students will be able to research companies, search and apply for internships and full-time employment, attend career preparation workshops, register for college career fairs and events, use the resume-building wizard, access detailed college-to-career pathways, and receive alerts about roles for which they are qualified. Once employers create an account, they will be able to post internship or full-time opportunities, collect applications from NSM students, register to participate in college career fairs, schedule information sessions, request to hold on-campus interviews, order resume books, and interact with NSM students.

Once the system goes live, the Career Center will host a Coffee Café reception for faculty to preview the HireNSM system and highlight its functionality. The Center’s mission is to connect all College stakeholders, who influence a student’s future career, to streamline the process of producing high academic achievers who are well-rounded, experienced, and possess the skill sets necessary to excel in today’s job market.

teachHOUSTON Updates

teachHOUSTON students Theresa Pham (Math major) and Olivia Pittman (Biology Spring ‘22 Graduate) won best poster at the national UTeach STEM Educators’ Conference for their poster titled, “The STEM RISE Program at teachHOUSTON: Connecting Inquiry-based Teaching and Mentoring Through STEM and Medicine.”

UH Hosts Virtual CRISPR in the Classroom Workshop

As the lead institute for the NSF-funded CRISPR in the Classroom Biology Undergraduate Education Network, a virtual 4-day workshop was hosted from June 28-30. The workshop allows faculty, who graduated before the CRISPR revolution, to learn the basic skills needed to conduct work in CRISPR and provides a framework for introducing the technology at a variety of levels in undergraduate teaching laboratories.

Twenty instructors, representing 13 different two-year and four-year institutions spread from coast-to-coast, participated. An optional one-day Benchling Bootcamp, utilizing Zoom breakout rooms, held on July 1, provided a hands-on practice session in designing guide RNAs for use in CRISPR experiments using Ensemble and Benchling online tools. The summer 2023 workshop will be held in person at UH in the Science Teaching Laboratories building.