NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Student Success Update

Save the Date – Feb 16: Enhancing the Educational Experience with ChatGPT and AI

Join UH Education Innovation and Technology for a conference on the use of ChatGPT and AI as it relates to the educational landscape.

Education Innovation and Technology Presents: “Enhancing the Educational Experience with ChatGPT and AI”

February 16, 2024
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, M.D. Anderson Library

Invited experts from Adobe will discuss their latest artificial intelligence (AI) applications for the classroom and beyond.

The event will feature a keynote address by Dr. Xiaoyang (Rebecca) Li, who received her doctorate at UH and is an Adobe Research Engineer in AI. She will discuss how Adobe’s GenAI products are helping faculty and students be more creative and productive. In addition, Adobe representatives will demonstrate the latest in Adobe products.

This event is open to all who are interested in learning more about AI. Registration will open in January.

Conference Website

Office of First Year Programs Updates

Welcome to the New Program Director for Office of First Year Programs

Please join us in welcoming Kayla Molnar, the new Program Director for the Office of First Year Programs. Kayla has extensive experience with working to provide programming to support first-year students. She earned her bachelor’s degree in church recreation and leisure studies with a minor in religion and her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Baylor University. She is working to complete her Ph.D. in higher education studies and leadership from Baylor. She enjoys exploring the outdoors, coffee, baking, and spending time with her family. She is excited to begin serving students alongside you all!

Fall 2024 Recruitment Efforts

The Office of First Year Programs (OFYP) and NSM Student Leadership Ambassadors attended seven Texas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers College Fairs in the Houston area this month to recruit students for admissions for Fall 2024. The OFYP hosted a second recruiting session on October 28 for the UH Cougar Preview, where student leaders discussed their experiences with over 265 prospective students and their parents. The OFYP aims to increase the number of admitted and enrolled students by 2-3% over the Fall 2023 number.

Student Leadership Retention-Related Activities

  • Study Nights continue to be held to provide support for students in the gateway introductory courses including Calculus 1 and Fundamentals of Chemistry 1.
  • A Halloween-themed NSM Game Night was held on October 24 to help build a sense of community in NSM. Students watched a Halloween movie and played games as a means of de-stressing after exams.
  • An NSMTalks event featuring a presentation on “Failure and Grit” by Dr. Lisa Farmer, Instructional Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry, was held on November 7. This interactive talk allowed Dr. Farmer to share her personal journey to her Ph.D. in genetics and to encourage students to persevere to achieve their goal by accepting and learning from their failures.

Upcoming Student Leadership Events

  • November 13: Calculus I Study Night
  • November 20: Chemistry I Study Night
  • December 1: Dean’s Freshman Excellence Luncheon

NSM Special Programs Updates

TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy - Fall Semester Retention Efforts

The TC Energy Summer Scholars Academy (SSA) hosted its annual fall event for SSA alumni. Forty students from the 2019–2023 SSA cohorts attended the event at the UH Game Room. The group bowled and played pool and table tennis. The event, held October 13, allowed the students some time to de-stress midway through the semester, socialize, and network with fellow scholars and professionals from the program’s sponsor, TC Energy. This event provides a touchpoint for the program leaders as they focus on retaining the SSA students to their STEM major.

Day of Discovery Visit with Grantham Academy - Outreach and Recruitment

NSM hosted 40 eighth graders from Grantham Academy for a Day of Discovery on September 29. Students participated in hands-on STEM activities with the UH STEM Center, learned about space, used the observatory with the help of the UH Astronomy Society, and spoke to current STEM students about their majors and what it is like to be a college student.

NSM Undergraduate Advising Center Fall Advising Event

The NSM Undergraduate Advising Center hosted its signature Fall Advising Event on November 1 complete with “Patching Up Your Schedule” themed treats and snacks for undergraduate students as they prepare for the Spring 2024 enrollment cycle. Over the course of three hours, 120 students were advised including both current and prospective NSM majors.

NSM Career Center Updates

Faculty Access to HireNSM

HireNSM Faculty

All NSM faculty now have access to the HireNSM Career Platform through their AccessUH accounts.

Look for the HireNSM Faculty icon to gain access to the platform for a preview of the jobs, internships, and other opportunities that NSM students can view. This access will allow faculty to review opportunities that can be shared with your students and provides an easy platform for advertising and promoting positions in your labs. If you have any questions regarding use of the platform or posting jobs, please contact Matthew Pariyothorn (mmpariyo@Central.UH.EDU) or Dawnelle Prince (dsprince@Central.UH.EDU) for assistance.

teachHOUSTON Updates

teachHOUSTON Provides Professional Development/Induction for In-Service Teachers

On Oct 14, teachHOUSTON hosted a professional development event for 15 secondary STEM Master Teacher Fellows participating in the UH Leadership through Equity and Advocacy Development in STEM (UH-LEAD) NSF grant program. Topics included policy advocacy, culturally responsive pedagogy in STEM, induction support, and teacher leadership. The UH-LEAD $2.85 million grant program is in year six and is led by PI, Dr. Paige Evans, teachHOUSTON; Co-PI, Dr. Jennifer Chauvot, College of Education; Dr. Karen McIntush and Amanda Campos, teachHOUSTON.

On Oct 19, teachHOUSTON hosted a mock interview event for teachHOUSTON students in their last semester of student teaching. Twelve district principals and human resources representatives from area school districts attended this event to provide feedback on best interview practices to the soon-to-be graduates. This event was organized by teachHOUSTON faculty Ramona Mateer.

On Oct 20, teachHOUSTON hosted a Teacher Interest Group (TIG) for their pre-service secondary STEM Teachers as part of the UH Advancing Cultural and Computational Engagement in STEM Scholars (UH-ACCESS) NSF grant program. The purpose of the TIG is to offer support and provide opportunities to help pre-service teachers teach underrepresented student populations and connect to their communities. Amethyst Gonzalez presented “What’s Their Story? Understanding Student Perspectives.” 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. The TIG was coordinated by Dr. Karen McIntush and Amanda Campos.

Also on Oct 20, teachHOUSTON hosted an induction event for 35 secondary STEM teachers as part of a CenterPoint Energy grant and the National Math and Science Initiative. The goal of the induction event was to provide support and build community for teachers early in their careers. Early career teachers, teachHOUSTON faculty, and LEAD Houston Master Teacher Fellows attended the event held at the Puttery in Houston. This grant is led by Dr. Paige Evans and Amanda Campos.

teachHOUSTON Discusses Best Practices for STEM Teacher Certification

On Oct 4, teachHOUSTON Clinical Professor and Co-Director Dr. Paige Evans was an invited speaker at the Houston Excellence in Advancing Readied Teachers Educator Preparation Program Leadership Convening hosted by US Prep and held at the Houston Endowment. Dr. Evans presented on the teachHOUSTON Alternative Certification Program for STEM and explained how this innovative program includes district-funded year-long residencies and funding through a National Science Foundation grant.

On Oct 6, teachHOUSTON faculty members Dr. Paige Evans and Amanda Campos presented at the Texas Residency Webinar Series hosted by US Prep. The one-hour webinar explained how teachHOUSTON has both undergraduate and post-bac pathways that prepare the next generation of secondary STEM educators and include paid, year-long residencies with area school districts. The webinar was attended by a national audience of leaders in teacher preparation.