Howard University Hosts 30 Future
Scientists, Engineers, Mathematicians
By Andre Nicholson
Monday, August 09, 2010
At the end of the nearly four-week academically
enriched program this summer, 30 high school students are much more knowledgeable
in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
due to the annual Howard University Minority Science and Engineering Improvement
Program (HU MSEIP).
The program, which is in its second year, is run by mechanical engineering
Professor Emmanuel Glakpe, Ph.D., Howard University College of Engineering,
Architecture, and Computer Sciences.
During HU MSEIP, high school juniors from all across the country are engaged
in research activities, field experiments, offered tours of research facilities,
participated in symposiums and seminars that expand their knowledge of
current technology in science, engineering and communication skills.
“Students were absolutely having fun and engaging in subject areas
such as physics, engineering, chemistry and other life skill classes,”
said Jason Alexis (B.S. ’10), a mechanical engineering graduate
who served as the evaluator and research assistant for the program this
summer. “They have done college level presentations, designed posters
and worked with advanced simulation and modeling software, solving real
Alexis interacted with the students, faculty and staff. He conducted short
rapport sessions with the students and gave them input on their team projects,
presentation skills and the college experience. He said it is extremely
important for more minority students to consider careers in a STEM-related
Faculty members who participated in lecturing the students included Professors
Grant Warner, Nicki Washington, John Harkless, Marcus Alfred and Evens
Dure from Archbishop Carroll High School. Other program mentors and
chaperones included Ashley Johnson, Nirvanna Deonauth, Iran Heavey, Quincy
Stewart, Jason Alexis, Keron Bradshaw and Sheku Kamara.
“The number of minority students who are in STEM related fields
do not represent the populous of the United States,” Alexis said.
“I think more can be done. STEM jobs usually provide stability and
a sense of satisfaction. Additionally, advancement in these STEM fields
needs the full input of all constituents, so the final solutions will
positively benefit all concerned.
“On the flip side, great entrepreneurship and scholarly opportunities
are derived from these advancements that ensure the minority communities
can gain resources and are enabled to develop sustainable business and
scholarly success for the benefit of future generations within and outside
Alexis is confident that the students are the future scientists, engineers
and mathematicians, because many of them expressed their interest in attending
Howard and studying areas within STEM after the program.
“Over the course of the program, I feel that I have truly grown
as a person,” said Tia Watkins, of Maret School in Washington, D.C.
“I have acquired new, useful skills such as molecular modeling,
computer animation and science, and virtual design using computer programs
like GAMBIT, FLUENT, NX and GaussView and ALICE.
“We worked with various professors with a range of knowledge from
physics to chemistry to engineering; absorbing their professional feedback
to better our own work. I sincerely believe that the culmination of everything
I have learned at this program will make me far more prepared to pursue
a future in science.”
Many of the students share Watkins’ sentiments, and as they went
back to their hometowns across the country and prepared to settle back
into their last year of high school, they did so much more knowledgeable
and prepared to tackle the world ahead.
“When I returned to North Carolina, I believe I came back more mature,
educated, and appreciative,” said Victoreah Brunson of Success Institute
High School in Greensboro, N.C. “I say mature because living on
my own for three and a half weeks really taught me to stop relying on
my mom and take things into my own hands.”
“I say educated because I know much more about the STEM related
subjects than I did before I came, and I say appreciative because of Mrs.
(Emma) Johnson, program assistant, reminding us how blessed we are.”
“Lifetime friends have been made, great relationships have been
started and successful STEM related careers are planted in us because
of HU MSEIP. Howard University is now at the top of my college list. So,
I hope to see you in a year."