NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

Dean’s Choice Award - Science and Engineering Fair of Houston

The College continued its tradition of awarding a Dean’s Choice Award at the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs and Student Success Donna Stokes attended the fair and spoke to numerous participants who worked on projects in areas such as physics, computer science, and biochemistry. This year, the Dean’s Choice Award went to Ana Costa Augusto Contrucci, a student from the Academy of Science and Technology in The Woodlands, Texas. It is rewarding to see the SEFH participants (over 750 students) excited about doing research in so many areas of STEM. See highlights of the event on KTRK ABC, Channel 13.

NSM Career Center Holds Resume Review Event

The NSM Career Center hosted a two-hour Resume Review event on February 20. A team consisting of local employers, including Credera and TC Energy, and campus partners, including teachHOUSTON and the NSM Undergraduate Advising Center, provided resume feedback for 67 undergraduate/graduate students interested in industry, research, and graduate/professional schools. This was the NSM Career Center’s first resume review event since it opened in Fall 2022. Because of the high student interest in this event, a Resume Review will be scheduled for the Fall 2023 semester.

NSM Office of First Year Program Updates

Fall 2023 Admissions Update

NSM applications for incoming first time in college (FTIC) students for the 2023-2024 academic year increased ~12% from that for Fall 2022. Currently, the College has admitted 2,742 FTIC students, and the Office of First Year Programs, in collaboration with the Undergraduate Advising Center, has launched a communications campaign to recruit and enroll these students as they begin to sign up for upcoming New Student Orientation sessions.

NSM Student Leadership Program Recruitment

The Office of First Year Programs’ Student Leadership Program will have 20 of its current 60 student leaders graduating in Spring 2023. The First Year Programs staff are actively recruiting motivated students to serve in the program’s three branches – Ambassadors, Student Programming Board, and Peer Mentors. The Student Leadership Program serves the NSM student body and builds a community of support by offering academic, professional, and social activities to engage students at all levels.

teachHOUSTON Updates

teachHOUSTON Provides Three Professional Development/Induction Support Events for In-Service Teachers

On Saturday, February 25, teachHOUSTON hosted a professional development workshop for 27 secondary STEM Master Teacher Fellows who are participants in the UH Leadership through Equity and Advocacy Development in STEM (UH-LEAD) NSF grant program. Topics, including policy advocacy and culturally responsive pedagogy in STEM, were discussed to better prepare teachers to teach in high needs schools. The UH-LEAD $2.85 million grant program is in year five and is led by Drs. Paige Evans, Jennifer Chauvot, Mariam Manuel, and Leah McAlister-Shields.

Also on February 25, teachHOUSTON hosted an induction event for 20 secondary STEM teachers as part of a CenterPoint Energy grant and the National Math and Science Initiative. The goal is to provide support for teachers early in their careers through professional development and networking events which will occur throughout the year. The event allowed recent teachHOUSTON graduates to connect with alumni who have been teaching for 2-5 years. Topics discussed included classroom management, student engagement, and lesson design. This grant is led by Dr. Paige Evans and Faculty Lecturer Amanda Campos.

teachHOUSTON also hosted a national virtual professional development workshop for the UTeach program on February 25. The program, titled “Inclusive Pedagogy and Practices for STEM Educators,” prepared in-service teachers to implement Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP) into STEM classrooms. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Jacqueline Ekeoba and Master Teacher Ramona Mateer as part of a $3.3 million Department of Education grant led by Drs. Paige Evans, Leah McAlister-Shields, and Jaspal Subhlok. In-service teachers and alumni from universities who are members of the UTeach network have attended three sessions of professional development from August to February. Each session focused on developing and implementing lessons rich in CRP for their respective grade levels and content areas. The February 25 session provided an open discussion for teachers about how they have implemented CRP in their classrooms over the course of the 2022-2023 school year. Participants shared ideas, worked to resolve obstacles, and developed strategies to continue implementing CRP.

teachHOUSTON Hosts Teacher Interest Group for Pre-Service Teachers

On February 24, teachHOUSTON hosted a Teacher Interest Group (TIG) for their pre-service secondary STEM teachers. The activity was part of the UH Advancing Cultural and Computational Engagement in STEM Scholars (UH-ACCESS) NSF grant program. The TIG offered support and provided resources for pre-service teachers to teach underrepresented student populations and connect to their communities. A presentation, “Wild Houston: Connecting to the Nature of the City,” given by Suzanne Simpson, an ecologist with the Galveston Bay Foundation, highlighted ways to broaden participation in ecology. The UH-ACCESS $1.2 million grant program is in year three and is led by Drs. Paige Evans, Donna Stokes, Jaspal Subhlok, and Weihang Zhu.

teachHOUSTON Partners with Local School Districts for Yearlong Paid Teacher Residencies

teachHOUSTON is partnering with local school districts who are providing yearlong, $20,000, paid residencies for student teachers. Through this program, a student teacher will be paired with an experienced, highly effective mentor teacher for a full year of clinical training/co-teaching in a secondary STEM classroom for a minimum of three days per week. Resident teachers may be at the undergraduate or post-baccalaureate levels. Currently, 16 student teachers are participating in this program. In February, teachHOUSTON and the Region 4 Education Service Center met with area school districts including Aldine, Alief, Channelview, Houston, Klein, Lamar Consolidated, Pasadena, Splendora, and Spring Branch, to plan sustainability models for this endeavor.