NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

Outreach Events

Cullen Middle School Students On March 1, NSM, UH STEM Center, and Cullen College of Engineering hosted 130 Houston-area middle school students from Cullen Middle School, A+ Unlimited Potential Charter School, and the Beatrice Mayes Institute through their partnership with UH’s Advancing Community Engagement and Service Institute. NSM Student Leaders served as tour guides for the students who participated in hands-on activities with Dr. Karoline Mueller (TcSUH), fiber optics with Dr. Yingcai Zheng (EAS), the Robotics Swarm Control Lab with Dr. Aaron Becker (ECE), acting as cipher sleuths with Dr. Jennifer May (Math), and learning about biodegradable plastics with Dr. Robert Comito (Chemistry). Additionally, students engaged in activities with NSM and Engineering student organizations, such as the Astronomy Society at UH, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), the Biomedical Engineering Society, Cougar AI, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

The NSM Office of Special Programs and Office of First Year Programs hosted a recruiting session at Klein Forest High School on March 7. This is one of numerous school visits planned as part of our Houston-area recruiting “Road Map.” The visits aim to recruit students for the TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy and for NSM in general.

Office of First Year Program (OFYP) Updates

Admissions, Recruitment, and Retention

According to UH by the Numbers, NSM’s admit rate for first-year students for Fall 2024 is 94.7% (3,277 admitted out of 3,462 completed).

The OFYP partners with the Office of Admissions to host Academic Sessions introducing prospective and newly admitted students to NSM. March recruiting activities include Academic Sessions on March 8, 11–13, and 22.

NSM Academic Success Program: The NSM Career Center partnered with the OFYP on March 5 to facilitate an IDNS 2297: Succeeding in STEM section focusing on “Finding a Job You’re Passionate About” to support students’ career exploration and professional development. The OFYP is reaching out to students to support their progress in the Academic Success Program, including requesting that they meet with the OFYP staff to discuss their use of University and College resources.

Volunteers Needed for NSMeet, April 20!

OFYP’s annual spring open house event, NSMeet, is Saturday, April 20. The event welcomes admitted students to the College giving them an opportunity to meet faculty, staff, and Student Leaders, view NSM’s facilities, learn about NSM degree programs, and discover opportunities for engagement and professional development. OFYP would appreciate a faculty representative from each department to welcome and connect with students and their supporters. For more information and/or to volunteer to participate, please contact nsmyear1@central.uh.edu. We look forward to your support as we recruit our next class of students.

Student Leadership Program

The OFYP is recruiting students for the NSM Student Leadership Program. Student Leaders serve as peer mentors and ambassadors to welcome, engage, and connect with prospective and new NSM students. Current NSM Student Leaders are hosting Pop-Up Tabling Events in the SR1 lobby inviting students to apply and sharing the benefits of serving as a Student Leader. The application is open until March 25. The NSM Student Leadership Program is geared toward NSM undergraduate students, but both undergraduate and graduate student interest has been received which will allow the College to broaden the scope of the program’s efforts. Please encourage students you feel will be great representatives for the College to apply by March 25.

Student Leadership Events

  • Upcoming Study Nights:
    • Mon, March 18, for Calculus 2
    • Thur, March 21, for Chemistry 2

The Student Leadership Team hosted the first session of its Professional Development Series in partnership with the NSM Career Center. The session focused on resilience and team building which will support the Student Leadership Team as an organization and the student leaders individually in their professional pursuits. Five additional presentations are planned as a part of the series.

Scholar Enrichment Program (SEP) Updates

SEP Highlighted in THECB Case Study

SEP is one of five Texas student success programs featured in a case study by Ithaka S+R, an advice and support service entity working with higher education leaders to improve and accomplish their goals in terms of their missions. Their work includes providing strategic guidance in a range of areas such as student success, research, and teaching. Contracted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), the study reviews emerging themes of programs across Texas that have significant impact on student success. SEP was recognized for its high potential and “…thoughtful approach to programming that contributes to a culture of evidence in Texas postsecondary education.” Read More

TC Energy Partners with SEP to a Host a Speed-Mentoring Event

TC Energy sponsored a speed-mentoring event at UH for SEP students. Twenty-two TC Energy professionals served as mentor volunteers speaking about their career and experience in the energy sector. Forty-two students interacted with volunteers through seven-minute rotating sessions. On average, each student spoke to seven mentors, allowing them to learn about different perspectives and opportunities at TC Energy. The speed-mentoring event was such a huge success that TC Energy has agreed to return in Fall 2024.

NSM Career Center (NSMCC) Updates

Computer Science Career Fair

The Department of Computer Science, in partnership with the NSM Career Center, hosted a Career Fair on February 7, for computer science (CS) majors. Twenty-five employers showcased their companies to 462 students in attendance. The NSM Career Center Director and Career Outreach Squad served as volunteers at the event.

Employer Engagement

The main goal of the Career Center for the upcoming year is to focus on building strong ties and relationships with employers. In February, the Career Center director held meetings with employers including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Meta, Labtopia, ScribeAmerica, Philipps 66, and Publicis Sapient.

In February, several companies held on-campus information sessions for NSM students. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office presented information about remote career opportunities as a Patent Examiner. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also committed to participating in a joint panel discussion with participants from the UH Law School, including Dean Leonard Baynes. For students interested in attaining a degree in patent law, a new paid internship program is being developed in conjunction with Senior Patent Attorney, Shilpa Ghurye, Ph.D., J.D., at the law firm of Kearney, McWilliams, & Davis. The Idaho National Laboratory, a Department of Energy Laboratory, presented information about career opportunities with the laboratory in STEM areas including nuclear science.

Student Engagement by the Numbers

NSM Career Counselor, Lee Ann Lawrence, has been on staff for one year and accomplished the following to support NSM majors:

  • Held 40 Unique Mock Interviews
  • Quadrupled Document Library Resources
  • Reviewed 1,308 Resumes
  • Held 287 Counseling Appointments
  • Provided Guidance on 287 Personalized Career Action Plans

teachHOUSTON Updates

teachHOUSTON Faculty and Students Attend NSF Noyce Regional Conference

Western Regional Noyce Conference Attendees Over 40 teachHOUSTON faculty and students attended the Western Regional Noyce Conference in Portland, OR. The conference leverages and expands sharing and collaboration among NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship Programs, supporting professional development of Noyce Scholars and alumni. Conference goals included promoting community and sharing a sense of purpose among science and math teachers, enhancing their preparation, and supporting their persistence and success as educators. teachHOUSTON had five NSF Noyce grants represented and eight presentations including one titled “Culturally Responsive Classroom Management: Finish the Year Strong!” The 40 workshop participants examined their own classroom management practices through a self-evaluation and received resources on developing behavior mini-lesson plans to address deeper issues, such as cheating and cell phone usage in the classroom. Faculty/staff attendees included Jacqueline Ekeoba, Paige Evans, Mariam Manuel, Karen McIntush, and Ramona Mateer.

Professional Development for In-Service Teachers

On February 24, teachHOUSTON hosted a professional development event for 22 secondary STEM Master Teacher Fellows who are participants in the UH Leadership through Equity and Advocacy Development in STEM (UH-LEAD) NSF grant program. Natalia Gomez Ramback, senior regional advocacy director for Raise Your Hand Texas, spoke on educational policy advocacy. The UH-LEAD grant is a collaborative program between teachHOUSTON and the College of Education.