The TAMUS LSAMP 2016 Symposium was hosted this year by Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) at the Corpus Christi Campus, and administrators from Texas A&M University (TAMU). TAMU, PVAMU, and Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) arrived on Thursday, April 21, 2016 evening for hotel registration and students attended dinner at Dos Comales Mexican restaurant for the welcome and social event. The symposium events took place on Friday, April 22, 2016. After registration and breakfast the first event held was UGR Session I“How to Communicate Your Research to your Grandmother” by Ms. Ann Nelson. She spoke on basic communication skills and about the importance of being able to tailor their talk to their audience, particularly when it comes to obtaining funding. Ms. Ann Nelson then went into some methods for presenting a complex topic for everyone to understand including their grandmothers.
After the first session, UGR students had to make presentations of their research they had been working on to peers and Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) faculty and staff using some of the information they obtained from the communications session. Graduate students, TAMUS faculty and staff served as judges in the oral presentations. After the presentations there was a break for lunch.
After lunch, there were two sessions running concurrently, UGR session II “The Graduate School Funding and Application Process” was conveyed by Dr. Karen Butler-Purry. During the session, Dr. Butler-Purry spoke on how to fund grad school with different types of funding sources, deadlines and what is used to determine a good candidate. What to expect in and how to select a grad school and what to anticipate in the application process with laid out timelines, requirements, and deadlines. At the end Dr. Butler-Purry opened the session up for the attendees to ask questions. In UGR session II “Tips for a Successful Graduate School Personal Statement” was conveyed by Dr. Brandi Reese. This session was given mainly for those students that had not written their personal statement yet or just had an outline. Dr. Brandi Reese spoke about how to get them organizing their thoughts as well as talking about the most significant research or work experience to help make them a stronger candidate so that those experiences can be used in writing the personal statements.
The last session for UGR was the Graduate Student panel discussions where graduate students talked about their graduate school experiences when they first entered graduate school and how it has changed and how they have changed since then, what obstacles they faced and what they did to overcome it. What they learned from it and gave tips to UGRs so they could prepare. This session was used to give UGRs a look into graduate school what to expect in graduate studies, how to look for the right research and also motivate them to consider graduate school in the near future.
The Symposium concluded with awards and honors given out to the students that placed in their presentations followed by a photo opportunity. After the photo session, all four institutions departed and boxed dinners were provided so as not to delay the traveling institutions from getting to their respective locations.
Activity Outcome & Success Story Nuggets:
The UGR students in the graduate panel had many questions for the graduate panel. Additionally, many of the students took notes of the advice and information that the graduate students gave. The Graduate school funding and application process session ran out of time, indicating the success and high interest level the students had in graduate school.