NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

NSM Student Leaders to Host NSM Talks, NSM Listens, and NSM Shares Events

The Office of First Year Programs selected 50 new students for the NSM Student Leadership Program

These new students will join the 10 returning student leaders to promote an interdependent and unified culture among NSM undergraduates. They also support student success programs and initiatives, including mentoring and planning/hosting academic, social, and recruiting events throughout the academic year.

As one of their first programming efforts, they will develop a series of events — NSM Talks, NSM Listens, and NSM Shares — which will allow students to enrich their knowledge and understanding of scientific and social justice issues as well as provide a platform for voices to be heard in the College. The new NSM Listens and NSM Shares events, which are an addition to the regularly scheduled NSM Talks events, will allow students to hear from alumni and campus/community leaders, and will allow them to share their experiences as it relates to issues of social injustice and racism in the scientific and local communities.

TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy in Session through August 7

The TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy kicked off on June 9 with 50 first-time-in-college freshmen (26 NSM and 24 Engineering). The cohort consists of 72% underrepresented minorities, and 58% are women.

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 five career panels with UH alumni to learn more about STEM career paths.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be evaluated for admittance into their first-choice major in NSM or Engineering.

Due to COVID-19, the program is being offered in a fully online format. Participants were provided writing tablets to ensure full program participation including small group problem-solving through channels built into the Microsoft TEAMS platform. Peer facilitators are assisting the faculty, Professor Irina Perepelitsa (Calculus), Dr. Lydia St. Hill (Chemistry), and Dr. Donna Smith (College Success), during class times by monitoring the chat window and coordinating small, problem-solving workshops. iClicker Cloud is also being employed to keep students engaged and to provide real-time assessment of understanding of material.

The program is supported by an NSF Houston-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation grant (#1911310), TC Energy Foundation, Halliburton, ConocoPhillips, and NSM alumni donors.

Scholar Enrichment Program –Success of Data Structures Course Workshop

During Spring 2020, the SEP program offered its first workshop supporting a computer science course, COSC 2430 Data Structures. Workshop curriculum was designed by Dr. Nouhad Rizk to align with the course.

Student success data showed DWIF rates of 5% for students enrolled in the workshop versus 41% for students not enrolled in the workshop. SEP will continue to offer the workshop in the Fall 2020 semester in an effort to improve DWIF rates in the Data Structures course.