Outlook

The hits just keep on coming

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

President Earl H. Potter III presents an Excellence in Leadership medallion to Keesha Askriti Lawrence Mason interdepartmental communications major from St. Cloud.

As each academic year draws to a close our university community revels in the accomplishments and successes of students and faculty. This spring a particularly beautiful buzz was heard around campus as announcement after announcement of awards and tributes for excellence and achievement came our way. In this issue of Outlook we share some of these points of pride that put the spotlight on an extraordinary few and bring honor to us all.


The winning people and programs on these pages represent the abundance of talented, creative and innovative individuals who grace our university and our alumni community with their achievements and commitment to doing what they do best. Their great ideas and hard work make our campus a place where students learn to turn dreams into opportunities that lead to a life of participation and accomplishment. One of those great ideas is a project aimed at allowing more academically talented and financially needy students from underrepresented groups to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and/or math – collectively known as STEM disciplines. This project, titled “Scholarships for Academically Talented Economically Disadvantaged Students,” recently was awarded a $600,000 National Science Foundation grant to support students with scholarships of up to $9,100 per year as they prepare for STEM careers. Beginning this fall, the National Science Foundation’s four-year S-STEM program will sponsor 30 two-year scholarships to SCSU students majoring in information systems, computer science and computer engineering.


Under the direction of computer science and information technology Professors Susantha Herath, Dennis Guster and Jayantha Herath, this project will result in strengthening St. Cloud State’s ability to support deserving students and strengthen the workforce and leadership in STEM fields.


The scholarships are one more significant step of support for students of color and other underrepresented groups who aspire to a future in a STEM career. One of our first points of pride in this issue is the presentation of the National Association of ethnic studies’ Robert L. Perry Mentorship Award to ethnic studies Professor Robert C. Johnson, who for 25 years has been offering schoolchildren opportunities to transform their lives.


Johnson’s residential math-science-computer camps have been an important pipeline to higher education for young people who did not perceive themselves as future college students before coming to St. Cloud State to learn about science in a campus setting.


Several of Dr. Johnson’s campers have become students at St. Cloud State, many starting college life in the award-winning Advanced Preparation Program led by the university’s Multicultural Student Services staff. The APP program has served hundreds of new entering students in its 25 years.


This summer bridge program is open to admitted first-year students and offers introductory college classes, informational seminars and the valuable experience of college life with new friends. The next issue of Outlook will include photos and stories about the APP alumni reunion scheduled for Aug. 2 in St. Cloud.


Congratulations to all our award winners and those who have received well-deserved tributes for their dedicated service and contributions in recent months.


I also want to take this opportunity to applaud the alumni whose compelling stories of accomplishment and entrepreneurial pursuits are written about in this issue, as well as the legions of alumni who contribute so much to their career fields and their communities.


In this Outlook we say “thank you” to all the winning members of our campus community for continuously making us all proud to be in your good company.

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