2017 TAMUS LSAMP Symposium

The TAMUS LSAMP 2017 Symposium was hosted this year by Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) at the Prairie View Campus, and administrators from Texas A&M University (TAMU). TAMU, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christ, and Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) arrived on Thursday, March 2, 2017 evening for hotel registration and students had dinner and bowled at the Prairie View bowling alley for the welcome and social event. The symposium events took place on Friday, March 3, 2017. After registration and breakfast there were two concurrent sessions being held. One was UGR Session I“A Day in the Life: Graduate Student Panel Discussion” by Bridge to Doctorate students from TAMU. They 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 motivate them to consider graduate school in the near future.  The other one was “Practical Tips on Graduate School and Securing a Job Afterwards” Dr. Daniel Limbrick from North Carolina A&T State University talked about learning how to read papers and how to be published. He also talked about getting a job in academia and the process he took to get there. He touched a little bit on working in the industry or national labs as well.

Immediately following these sessions, there was another set of concurrent sessions. For the UGR students it was “Grad School: To Go or Not to Go? That is the Question!” Dr. Daniel Limbrick led this and he spoke about…. For the graduate students, Dr. Josette Bradford spoke about “The Art of Networking” She started by having everyone find a partner they did not know and give an elevator speech for a minute. She then evaluated a few of them and gave students tips on the structure of an elevator speech. She provided information on how to enter and exit a conversation and how to obtain a business card.

Following these sessions was lunch and the poster session. UGR and BTD 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. TAMUS faculty and staff served as judges in the oral presentations.

After lunch, there were two sessions running concurrently, “Graduate School Funding Opportunities”, which was conveyed by Dr. Cajetan Akujuobi . During the session, Dr. Akujuobi spoke on various fellowships available to fund graduate school. He talked about applying to the NSF GRF during your last year of your undergraduate degree. At the end, he opened the session up for the attendees to ask questions.  The other session “Resume and CV Writing” was done by Dr. Katie Stober. She talked about some of the things to include on a CV such as teaching and research experience, publications and presentations, grants, scholarships, and professional memberships. For a resume, she talked about having an objective, activities, references and making sure the overall appearance of the resume looks good.

The Symposium concluded with awards and honors given out to the students that placed in their presentation. After this, 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. The BTD students who placed in the poster competition are as follows: 1st place Taneidra Walker (TAMU), 2nd place Jessica Aviles (TAMU) and 3rd place Mariela Vazquez (TAMU). For the UGR students it was 1st place Kelly Nieto (TAMU), 2nd place Nicandro Pedroza (TAMU-CC), and 3rd place Arianna Bartlett (TAMU-Galveston)