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04/22/2013

Chemistry Department Will Sponsor Its First Project Seed Program This Summer

Quick Facts

 Nick Grossoehme, assistant professor of chemistry, will direct the program; Winthrop Eagle STEM Scholars Program Director Rachel Law will be the assistant director of project SEED.
 Winthrop’s Eagle STEM office will work with high schools to recruit students, to process applications and to coordinate all Project SEED activities.

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Nick Grossoehme
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop’s chemistry program has been competitively selected to host an American Chemical Society Project SEED program in what is the university’s first ever such award.

Nick Grossoehme, assistant professor of chemistry, will direct the program; Winthrop Eagle STEM Scholars Program Director Rachel Law will be the assistant director of Project SEED.

Winthrop’s Eagle STEM office will work with high schools to recruit students, to process applications and to coordinate all Project SEED activities.

Winthrop’s chemistry program received the American Chemical Society’s approval for its programs in 2004.

Five chemistry faculty members - Cliff Calloway, Jay Hanna, Cliff Harris, Jason Hurlbert and Robin Lammi - will serve as scientist-mentors for selected Project SEED students who will conduct research at Winthrop throughout the upcoming summer.

Project SEED was established in 1968 by the American Chemical Society to assist economically disadvantaged high school students by furthering their education and by expanding their professional career horizons. Project SEED students are required to participate in eight to 10 weeks of full-time chemistry hands-on research under the direction of scientist-mentors who help students to develop scientific laboratory, oral and writing skills and to discover they are capable of conducting scientific research.

“We are particularly excited about this program because it gives our department and university the opportunity to give back to the community in a meaningful way,” said Grossoehme.

For the past decade, one of the Department of Chemistry’s four strategic goals has been to assist greater numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve professional excellence in science, said Chemistry Chair Pat Owens. “The Project SEED award represents an important achievement made possible through the wonderful support of Winthrop, the required matching funds from the Carolina-Piedmont section of the American Chemical Society, and a group of dedicated chemistry faculty and Eagle STEM staff focused on serving this important national need,” he added.

Local high schools in the region have already been contacted and recruitment has begun to select four high school rising juniors or seniors as Winthrop’s first cohort of Project SEED scholars. Selected students will participate in an eight to 10-week chemistry or biochemistry research project in Sims Science Building this summer under the direction of a Winthrop chemistry faculty member.

These students will become an integral of Winthrop’s INBRE Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) which is being directed by Lammi. They will all have the opportunity to participate all SURE community program activities.

INBRE stands for South Carolina IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (SC-INBRE) Program, which is a National Institute of Health initiative to encourage research throughout the state’s higher education institutions. This has aided in the strong focus of undergraduate research at Winthrop.

“This high level of commitment to foster learning through student engagement in research is the reason that we are in the position to host a successful program,” said Grossoehme.

In addition to the main goals of exposing the students to research and of providing them with committed mentors, the program will also provide the students with several opportunities to prepare them to succeed in college. In collaboration with Winthrop’s Academic Success Center, the students will engage in active learning opportunities about college preparedness, diversity, health and wellness, and the global world.

“This summer experience should help prepare these students to be candidates for competitive college programs like the Winthrop Eagle STEM Scholars Program.” said Law, Eagle STEM program director and Project SEED assistant director.

For more information, contact Grossoehme at grossoehmen@winthrop.edu or at 803/323-4955.

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