Science creates new outreach program for first-year students

Chris Houser, Machella HammondChris Houser, dean of the Faculty of Science, meets forensics major Machella Hammond during sessions of the inaugural Preparation for Academic Success in Science.

A new program of the Faculty of Science spent two days introducing its incoming students to the opportunities awaiting them.

During the inaugural Preparation for Academic Success in Science (PASS), students met the dean, visited classrooms and labs associated with their major, learned about internships and undergraduate research using a specially designed PASSport as their guide.

“UWindsor does a great job with Welcome Week and we wanted to compliment those events with activities specifically designed to welcome our first-years to the science community and help prepare them for a great academic year,” says dean of science Chris Houser.

Mathematics and statistics professor Justin Lariviere led a session outlining tips and strategies to help students succeed in math through an interactive brain-switching game. They also took a mock class about cancer research with biology professor Dora Cavallo-Medved where they learned how to prepare for lectures, how to take notes and they completed a variety of sample tests.

First-year forensic sciences student Machella Hammond says PASS was helpful in learning how things operate on campus as well as giving her a better understanding of the professor-student relationship at UWindsor.

“I come from a big city so I didn’t expect it would ever be this easy to get to know my professors so well, let along my dean,” says Hammond. “It is genuinely reassuring to know they see you as someone they care about and that you’re not just a number here.”

In addition to learning about undergraduate research and study-abroad opportunities, students heard from other campus services, including the Writing Support Centre and Students Offering Support.

“This is about creating a community atmosphere to ensure students succeed, and if they find themselves faltering at any time, they know where to turn for help,” says Dr. Houser. “It is also about educating them on all the opportunities in science that don’t happen in the classroom.

“We want students to graduate with a well-rounded resume that includes contributing to research, serving their community, travelling abroad, and being a part of the community.”

Students who completed their science activity passport were entered into a raffle. Winners Emily Boice and Siddhartha Sood will each receive an iPad tablet computer.

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