U of A Partners With Fort Valley State University to Host Math, Science and Engineering Academy

U of A Chancellor Charles Robinson speaks to students participating in the Math, Science and Engineering Academy. This year marks the 12th year the U of A has partnered with Fort Valley State University to host rising high school students in STEM fields to campus.
Cassandra Thomas

U of A Chancellor Charles Robinson speaks to students participating in the Math, Science and Engineering Academy. This year marks the 12th year the U of A has partnered with Fort Valley State University to host rising high school students in STEM fields to campus.

The M-SEA summer program is once again returning to the U of A campus this week. The academy hosts rising high school juniors from underrepresented populations in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students will be engaged in geosciences and engineering laboratory activities and field trips supporting their interest in STEM as potential careers in the future. 

The week of activities will culminate in a closing ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 16, in Giffels Auditorium. This is open to the public, and all are encouraged to attend. The students create clever songs, dance, and skits to demonstrate the materials covered during their week on our campus. Consider joining us to support this amazing effort by the students! 

All this is possible through the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program at Fort Valley State University, a program which is now in its 40 year. The program was started and is still directed by Isaac J. Crumbly. The goal of the program is to create a pipeline for underrepresented groups in the energy industry. Students attend Fort Valley State University in Georgia completing a Bachelor of Science in chemistry or mathematics in three years. If students maintain their high grade point average, they are awarded a second scholarship to attend one of the partner universities to complete a second bachelor's in either Engineering or Geosciences.  

Thirty years ago, Crumbly realized the need to start identifying these talented students earlier than Freshman year of college and M-SEA was created as a precollege program to increase the pipeline of students toward STEM fields. M-SEA adds four summer camps during the student's high school career where they have a chance to visit partner universities and learn more about engineering and geosciences. Upon successful completion of the four summer programs, students with a 3.5 GPA or higher and above an 1170 on the SAT or 26 on the ACT are offered the scholarship to Fort Valley State and to join the cooperative program mentioned above. 

The University of Arkansas became a regular participant at the National Association of Black Geoscientists annual conference where we first met Crumbly and learned of the Cooperative Developmental Energy Program in 2007. When the University of Arkansas hosted the NABG annual conference in 2009 in which Fort Valley brought 16 students, it became obvious that we needed to pursue this partnership with Fort Valley State University, and in 2010 the MOU was signed between the two universities. The university began hosting the summer camp in 2011.  

"This program is a win all around," said Jo Ann Kvamme, assistant director of environmental dynamics. "We are gaining extremely talented students who have already proven themselves academically, the students are offered scholarships to attend Fort Valley and partner schools which enhances their career choices and opportunities, and the STEM fields gains a talented and diverse workforce."  

Since the University of Arkansas joined Cooperative Developmental Energy Program as a partner university, the U of A has hosted 251 rising juniors and have facilitated the transfer of 29 students into our engineering and geosciences undergraduate programs. The university has also assisted six students with master's degrees in geosciences and mathematics. 

Contacts

Jo Ann Kvamme, assistant director
Environmental Dynamics Program
479-575-6603, jkvamme@uark.edu

John Post, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-4853, johnpost@uark.edu

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