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Scholars Academy Hosts Spring Orientation for 155 Undergraduates

By: Claire Caton

Scholars Academy, UHD's academically competitive program in the College of Sciences and Technology, hosted its spring orientation for undergraduates on Friday.

Approximately 155 returning and new members gathered to create and bolster relationships with their faculty and peer mentors, gain a better understanding of the scholarship requirements of the program and plan semester activities as a peer group, including a service learning project, for the spring semester.

Scholars Academy aims to promote scholarship and student success for undergraduates majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In addition to the 60-100 percent scholarship support provided to all Scholars Academy members, the program affords students access to multiple high-impact learning experiences, such as the opportunity to conduct research with UHD STEM research faculty, external STEM research opportunities, and potentially publish their findings through professional society and peer-reviewed journals, as well as through the Honors Society.

"Scholars Academy has given me so many opportunities as an undergraduate," said Sara Wilder, a senior mathematics major. "I got into research because of Scholars Academy and have gotten to go to so many conferences as a member. I want to become a math teacher and have gotten to help train the pedagogical tutors in our tutoring labs on how to help students understand math."

Scholars Academy director Mary Jo Parker agrees, "The longstanding mission of Scholars Academy is to support retention and graduation of STEM undergraduates. However, most recently, this mission has evolved to include the preparation of competent, capable, and qualified graduates to successfully enter graduate/professional programs, as well as the STEM workforce. This occurs by design and by the nurturing of faculty mentors in the College of Sciences and Technology who give so fully of their time and talents to undergraduates displaying high competence and motivation for continuance in STEM fields."

Parker encourages UHD faculty and staff to inform high-performing undergraduates about the benefits of Scholars Academy. For questions about the program, please call her directly at 713-221-8471.