Great start: M-Bio Summer Program
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
“The M-Bio Summer Program is off to a great start,” said Joe Salvatore, assistant director, Science Learning Center and M-Bio Summer Program Coordinator. “The M-Bio scholars are thriving as they tackle four intense summer courses, attend weekly lectures from prominent University of Michigan faculty, and participate in a variety of academic, social and cultural activities.”
M-Bio is a two-year program for biology-interested students admitted to U-M. The program begins with an intensive summer residential academic program followed by two years of special programming. The program is designed to strengthen and diversify the cohort of students who will receive their biological sciences degree from U-M.
"I'm so glad I've participated in M-Bio. I've met people that will be friends for the rest of my time at the university, and met professors that truly care about how I do in school," said Nathan Sheskey. "This summer has been truly rewarding. I have had the chance to meet new friends, learn my way around campus, and get a feel for the rigor of college level classes. M-Bio has been a great experience that I feel will ensure my success at U of M."
“Upon graduation, students who participate in M-Bio will be especially well prepared to seek career opportunities or to attend graduate or professional school in the biological sciences,” said Professor Deborah Goldberg, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, whose NSF grant is funding scholarships for students in the program.
M-Bio students are participating in a rigorous eight-week residential summer program, taking three non-credit preparatory courses in math, science, and writing, and completing a three-credit course covering critical academic success and research skills. In addition to a daily schedule of classes, M-Bio students are participating in evening study sessions, attending lectures, working closely with academic coaches, and participating in a rich array of social, cultural and personal growth experiences. Upon successful completion of the summer term, students will have earned three credits toward their degree and a small stipend.
“The M-Bio Program provides the support and structure to help students from many different backgrounds excel as they pursue degrees in the biological sciences,” said Salvatore.
Over their first two years, M-Bio students have the opportunity to enroll in special Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP) sections of introductory science and math courses which emphasize in-depth analysis of key concepts. An academic coach will meet monthly with students to achieve success and manage academic and personal challenges. M-Bio students will enroll and participate in study groups sponsored by the Science Learning Center (SLC) for their introductory science courses. The students will engage in research experiences through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) during the academic year and in the summer between their first and second years and they will attend social and cultural programs offered throughout the academic year.
“Research suggests participation in a summer transition program, followed by comprehensive support throughout the academic year, increases academic excellence,” said Goldberg. “M-Bio students will be encouraged to build upon their strengths as they develop personally, academically and professionally.”
"M-Bio is more than a program of preparation. It's a challenge within itself to form a strong community, and to set aside childish ways to become young adults who handle their own problems in a mature manner. I've learned a lot about myself through being in this environment," said Chinyere Onimo.
The $600,000 NSF grant is titled “Michigan Biology Academy Scholars." The project is under the direction of Goldberg and Claire Sandler, director, Science Learning Center. Pamela A. Raymond, professor and chair of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Cinda-Sue Davis, director of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) serve on the steering committee. The NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) award will support up to 20 scholarship recipients per entering cohort, for a total of up to 80 students over a four-year period.
Pictured from top: photo 1: Olivia Hobson and Briana Lung take part in a lab to determine how much energy is stored in food; photo 2: Kimberly Deering and Briana Lung paint the U-M rock to show their M-Bio spirit along with their classmates; photo 3: Everlin Gutierrez and Rodrigo Rangel participate in a lab exercise; photo 4: left to right: Kimberly Deering, Nathan Sheskey, Folake Olojo, Hannah Hakala, Rodrigo Rangel, Briana Lung on top of rock, painting U-M's famous rock along Washtenaw Ave.