To start the program we host a picnic by the Arkansas River. Although August might seem too hot for a picnic, we often get a great breeze off the river. Scholars and their families get to meet each other, USSP staff, and several faculty and administrators. The food is simple and filling! We have a great time.
In addition, we host a pizza party for scholars and interested faculty the first Friday of the semester so that scholars can meet more people and see the study lounge that is available to them. There are tables for studying, computers, a small refrigerator, a microwave, and comfortable seating.
We organize trips to research labs and scientific organizations so scholars can learn about career opportunities. We made a trip to the Biochemistry Department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Scholars met several UAMS faculty and graduate students, listened to short descriptions of their research, and toured the facilities of the department. We also have made trips to UALR’s Nanotechnology Center and saw demonstrations with electron microscopes, and to the Arkansas Crime Lab
At the end of the semester we have had a Dessert Extravaganza! We sampled (gorged?) on desserts made by Dr. Lanza, Mary Adams, and Brooks Hawkins.
To start the spring semester, we have a pizza party to introduce new scholars to the group and to celebrate accomplishments like Dawn Johnson’s receipt of an Arkansas SURF grant that supported her undergraduate research project in spring and summer of 2009.
We also joined the LSAMP scholars (www.ualr.edu/lsamp) for a student organized potluck style Thanksgiving feast. Dr. Lanza and Dr. Winter supplied us with delicious ham and turkey. Students brought dishes such as hashbrown casserole, spaghetti, chicken spaghetti, and pumpkin cheesecake. Students seemed to enjoy the feast because there were few leftovers!