NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

TC Energy Student Programs Representatives Visit NSM

NSM, in collaboration with the UH Advancement Office, hosted members of TC Energy’s Student Programs division on May 19. TC Energy is a major sponsor of the Summer Scholars Academy (SSA), a nine-week summer bridge program, which supports high school students interested in majors in NSM or Cullen College of Engineering.

The SSA team gave a preview of what the participants in SSA experience during the program. This included an overview of the program objectives, tours of the Student Center and classroom spaces used for SSA, and an introduction to Dawnelle Prince, assistant director of the newly formed NSM Career Center. This opportunity allowed the supporters of the program to see what/how the program operates and how it supports incoming STEM majors, especially those from underrepresented groups, and allowed the NSM Career Center to build a relationship with TC Energy for internship/job placement for the SSA participants. The 2022 TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy is hosting 50 students and kicked off on June 13. SSA is in its fourth year of operation and is being held in person for the first time since 2019.

NSM Student Leadership Program Hosts Annual Banquet

The NSM Student Leaders celebrated their achievements and prepared for the 2022-23 school year at the NSM Student Leadership Banquet & Orientation on May 6. Achievements of each branch–Peer Mentorship, Ambassador, and Programming Board–were highlighted and upcoming events and activities for the 2022-23 academic year were previewed.

For the first time, the Office of First Year Programs used the banquet to onboard and orient new Student Leaders as well as to celebrate the accomplishments of those returning and graduating. The fun-filled event showcased each branch and how it contributes to NSM student success and provided games and activities to help build community among the leaders.

Student Leaders received awards for their participation in the program and recognition for their hard work throughout the year. After the dinner at the UH Rec Center, the students enjoyed bowling at the UH Student Center.

Volunteers, Donations, and Sponsorships Needed for NSM Block Party, August 21

Do you want to connect with incoming students? The College is hosting the return of the NSM Block Party on August 21 from 7-9 pm (in front of Science and Research 1). Block Party welcomes new NSM students to campus and serves as a Fall semester kick off by offering opportunities for students to connect with faculty, staff, and their peers before classes start. The event will feature games, interactive activities, student organizations, food, and fun!

We need your help to make the event a success! NSM is offering an opportunity to have you or your organization’s name featured at the event through donation/sponsorship of a table or activity. Sponsorship could include naming rights for an activity (e.g., the Dean Wells Dunking Booth or the Department of Physics Office Staff Face-Painting Station). Sponsorship can also include access to a table to showcase your research/lab. Donations/sponsorship can be in amounts ranging from $20 to $500 and can be made by an individual, group, or department.

We will also need volunteers to attend/staff activity stations at the event to help foster a welcoming community for our students.

If you are interested in volunteering and/or donating/sponsoring an activity/table, please contact Michelle Nodskov (mknodsko@central.uh.edu) to get more details. We thank you in advance for your support of our students.

UH STEM Center Hosts Local High School Students at Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

ISEF Group The UH STEM center hosted 19 students at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held on May 7-13 in Atlanta. Local high school students who won first place at the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston (SEFH) were eligible to participate in ISEF. This event is the largest pre-collegiate STEM competition for 9th–12th grade students.

This year, ISEF provided a global stage for the best and brightest young minds in science and engineering from 49 states and over 63 different countries, regions, and territories. There were 1,750 student participants.

Sixteen grand award winners from the SEFH and three students from the Texas State Science Fair attended. Awards valued at nearly $8 million were awarded to the finalists, and students from SEFH garnered $13,000 in awards including a grand award for $2,000 in the Behavioral and Social Science category, a first place award of $5,000 in the Materials Science Division, and numerous special awards ranging from $200-$1,000 from various groups, including the Air Force Research Laboratory, American Psychological Association, Central Intelligence Agency, and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society. The ISEF award recipients were honored during two hybrid award ceremonies–Special Awards and Grand Awards.

teachHOUSTON’s New Teacher Video Wins Awards at 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase

The teachHOUSTON program participated in the 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase funded by the National Science Foundation. Out of the 267 videos entered in the showcase, the “teachHOUSTON: The Journey of a STEM Teacher” video received the Presenter’s Choice and Public Choice Awards.

The video, created by graduate student Elizabeth Phillips, highlights the realities of becoming a STEM teacher for many in the program and how important the academic and financial support is for a student’s success. The video depicts the personal perspective of a teacher, including the successes, struggles, and daily experiences as an educator. The teacher in the video is part of an NSF grant-funded program, Advancing Cultural and Computational Engagement in STEM Scholars (UH-ACCESS). The video/grant team included Paige Evans, Mathematics/teachHOUSTON, as the Lead Presenter, along with the following co-presenters: Leah McAlister-Shields and Elizabeth Phillips, Mathematics/teachHOUSTON; Donna Stokes, NSM Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Student Success; Jaspal Subhlok, Computer Science; Weihang Zhu, College of Technology; and Cheryl Craig from Texas A&M University.