University of Virginia
University of Virginia
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VCU's VA-NC LSAMP Summer Transition

July 2009 – Richmond, VA

Virginia Commonwealth University hosted 22 pre-freshmen this summer in the Summer Transition program STP.  As part of the VA-NC LSAMP, STP spanned four weeks and offered pre-freshmen STEM students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with campus life and most importantly enhance their academic experience.  The former was done via interaction with key members of administration for help with academic advising, course selection and prerequisites as well as on-campus accommodation in an effort to simulate a living/learning camaraderie.  The enhancement of the student’s academic experience was done through summer courses in chemistry, pre-calculus, and trigonometry.  Each course was accompanied with a recitation as a means to drive key points, and extend a more personalized learning experience.  The students hailed from three states and Washington, D.C. and represented nine STEM majors.

Beyond their coursework, the students participated in additional scholastic and recreational activities, ranging from a day at the beach to “gowning-up” for a tour through a class 1000 clean room facility.  During the clean room visit the students donned the clean room garb, fully covered from head cap to shoe booties, and were exposed to the more common semiconductor processes.  They saw how atomic layer deposition is performed; electron beam evaporation is achieved, and photolithography is used to arrange devices on silicon wafers.  They also had guest lecturers speak to them about a range of topics from how serial killers are caught and to how energy is harvested from the sun.

The summer closed with an awards ceremony with a guest speaker who hails from Honduras and an instrumental rendition by one of their talented classmates, Brandon Edmunds.

All in all the students had a jam packed summer to get them ready for the 2009-2010 academic year.  They will continue to come together through out the year by participating in a range of other academic activities including a mentoring program.  We look forward to a good year ahead.

Emmanuel Rowe and Rosalyn Hobson

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