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Adventures in Math & Science



Special points of interest:

DIRECTOR’S CHAIR addition to the normal day-to-day things which must be done to keep the program going strong! If you see us looking a bit wide eyed and sleepy….we are all of those plus!!

Congrats to Dr. Sarr on Receiving the President’s Award for Diversity & Inclusion!

Greetings AIMS Family!!! The “April Showers” did bring in the “May Flowers”! It is beautiful outside! I love all of the vibrant colors and sweet smells from the gorgeous bouquets growing along the bushes in my yard! It is once again time! Time for you to get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! Yes…I’m talking about the summer component! We have been as busy as little bee’s here in the AIMS office preparing for your stay on campus! “Hats off” to the AIMS staff for digging in and getting it all done!!! This is a very challenging task for us this year because we are in the middle of renewing our grant in

Congratulations to all the students who made the last Honor Roll list! Keep up the good work! I hope to see more names on the list for the final Honor roll. Remember….we have a special program for the students who make the Honor Roll. You are guaranteed a spot at the Directors Chair Event along with the ones who make it in the summer! An event you do not want to miss!! Each of the juniors should have received a waiver form for the SAT test. Please make sure you register to take the SAT. We recommend that you take both college entrance exams (ACT and SAT). Sometimes students score higher on one test over the other. Your highest score is what you want to use for college admission and scholarships. The majority of colleges and universities take both test scores…so you could submit either one. However, make sure to check the school

♦ Salute to the AIMS

requirements just in case they are one of those rare schools who only take ACT or only take the SAT. There are a few colleges that still do this for enrollment purposes. As many of you saw at the orientation last month…we have several new members to the Family! Make sure to make them feel welcome and as much a part of the Family as you are this summer! We are one…we are AIMS! Stay positive and work hard these last few weeks of school! See you soon!


Seniors– Bridge Class 2012 pp. 3-5 ♦ Another NPA Founder

Speaks pg. 6 ♦ Research Spotlight on

Parental Involvement in Education pg. 7

Inside this issue:

Director’s Chair


Coordinators’ Corners


Bridge Class 2012


Career Profile


Parents’ Corner


Financial Literacy


Schedule At-A-Glance



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COORDINATOR’S CORNER—AIMS I summer with those of you who are returning. This summer has so much fun and excitement in store for everyone!

Hello AIMS Family! I can’t believe how many new faces I saw at the AIMS Orientation! I hope you all feel welcome and at home. I can’t wait to get to know all of you new members and am looking forward to yet another exciting

Congratulations to all our Seniors! I am pleased and honored to see you take the next step in your educational journey. I am also extremely impressed with the amount of accomplishments in your class. I come from your background so it means so much to me to see you succeed and grow. I encourage you to continue to strive and don’t give up! Also, congratulations to our fearless leader, Dr. Doris ClarkSarr. She recently received the President’s Award for Diversity and Inclusion from Murray State University President, Dr. Randy Dun. She is well-deserved of

this honor as diversity is a major focus in her life and work. Think about how many cultures and languages you have learned about by being a part of this program. Our director definitely knows a major strength in today’s society is embracing diversity! In less than a month the Summer Component 2012 begins. I look forward to a great experience with the Bridge Class as well as the rest of the AIMS students. Give a strong final push at the end of this semester. I want you at your best this summer, we expect nothing less! Sincerely,

Stephen D. Keene

COORDINATOR’S CORNER—AIMS II Hey gang! I was just telling Stephen that I cannot believe we are in the month of MAY already! If you figure out where the time has gone please let me know!!! As you probably already know, May is a pretty busy month for all of the AIMS staff and for YOU as well. Not only do you have school to wrap up, but you also have those pre-summer assignments to complete and mail back to us. They will not take you long, I promise! Also, if

we have requested any other paperwork please get that in as soon as possible. Getting your paperwork and pre-summer assignments completed and submitted on time makes you eligible for many fun things this summer so get to it!! As always, if you need anything or have any questions please contact us. Bridge students: We will see you THIS month!! Good luck to those who are taking the ACT this month!


Evan O'Neal

Congratulations To Evan O’Neal On His appointment to the Murray State University Staff Congress! From The AIMS Staff!!!!


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AIMS Salutes the Class of 2012 Ginette Bess School Attending: Murray State University

Mary Elizabeth Ruth Cooperman School Attending: Austin Peay State University Major: Business Finance Career Goal: Finance Honors/Awards: Tennessee Scholars, APSU Honors Program & Scholarship, 3rd Place FBLA State Composition (2011), 1st Place FBLA Business Calculations—Regional Competition (2012), FBLA Chapter President (2011-2012) Message to AIMS: “Study hard, play harder !

Kimberly Cox School Attending: Murray State University Major: Business or Engineering Career Goal: Constructional Engineer Message to AIMS: “Peace out! It’s been real! I’m OUT!”

Gianna Douglas-Shaw School Attending: North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College Major: Biology—Pre-Med Career Goal: Dermatologist Honors/Awards: McCracken County Scholar, Paxton Endowment Recipient Message to AIMS: “Thank you for everything you have done for me throughout my high school years. It was fun and I really enjoyed it!”


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AIMS Salutes the Class of 2012 Branika Hardin School Attending: Western Kentucky University Major: Elementary Education Career Goal: Elementary School Teacher Honors/Awards: Honors Graduate Message to AIMS: “I appreciate all that this program has done for me because it has taught me a lot and has given me an opportunity to further my education.”

La’Tarvia Harris School Attending: Murray State University Major: Social Work Message to AIMS: “Thank you for this wonderful experience. The past four years were truly a blessing and I will never forget them. Thank you AIMS Family!”

Devonte Smith School Attending: Western Kentucky University

Alexandria (Ali) Taylor School Attending: University of Louisville Major: Pre-Med Career Goal: Pediatric Surgeon Honors/Awards: William Porter Scholarship, McCracken County Scholar, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Honors Graduate, 4-year Honor Roll Message to AIMS: “Thank you for everything! It’s been fun!


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AIMS Salutes the Class of 2012 Alexis Taylor School Attending: University of Louisville Major: Pre-Dentistry Career Goal: Oral Surgeon Honors/Awards: William Porter Scholarship, McCracken County Scholar, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Honors Graduate, 4-year Honor Roll Message to AIMS: “Thank you for all you’ve done to help me prepare for college. I’ve truly appreciated it. It was quite the fun experience.”

Ken’yelle Thomas

Passion Wilson School Attending: Western Kentucky University

Erica Youngblood School Attending: West Kentucky Community & Technical College Major: Sports Medicine Career Goal: Athletic Trainer Message to AIMS: “I enjoyed the AIMS experience. It’s been fun and very influential.”


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CAREER PROFILE—Another NPA Founder Speaks by Michael Pierce While many of her peers studying neuroscience wanted to pursue careers in academia, Karen Christopherson knew even before she entered her doctorate program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), that she wanted to work for a biotech company. "I'm not one of those people that initially maybe wanted to go into academics and changed for whatever reason," Christopherson says. "After I graduated from undergrad, before graduate school, I was at Genentech for a few years and I really liked biotech, so I went back to graduate school always with the intention of going back into biotech, which is what I did." Christopherson is one of the seven postdocs who founded the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) in 2003; the other six were profiled last month in Science Careers. Christopherson's success in industry is further evidence that advocacy work during training is fully compatible with career success, even when it requires a considerable investment of time. She says she was drawn toward bench work in industry rather than at a university because the private sector work seemed more directly transferrable to creating medicine and helping human health. "It just seemed like the work I could do in industry was much more relatable to society," Christopherson says. "I enjoyed publishing papers, and I enjoyed scientific questions and academic exercises, but at the end of the day, it kind of felt like an exercise." But even though she knew the path she wanted to follow,

Christopherson realized that systemic pressures within academe could penalize her for looking for nonacademic jobs. When the question of career goals came up as she was interviewing at various graduate schools, she dodged the question or hedged her answer, saying she hadn't fully decided what kind of career she wanted. "There was definitely a bias … against people going into nonacademic careers, that they were somehow not using their full potential, that they were only doing it because they couldn't do anything else," she says. "In fact, during interviews sometimes I wouldn't want to say that that was my intention because I was worried I wouldn't be accepted into labs because I didn't say I was definitely going into academics." Once she finished her Ph.D. in molecular neuroscience at UCSF, she took a postdoc position at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1999. Midway through her postdoc, she helped found NPA. Christopherson finished her postdoc in 2005 and continued along the path she'd started down, working for 3 years at a biotech company named StemCells Inc. Then she moved to her current position as principal scientist of a group that studies Alzheimer's disease and age-related macular degeneration at San Francisco's Rinat Laboratories, which is owned by Pfizer. Though she doesn't think her involvement with NPA either helped or hindered her career, Christopherson says some of the organization-building skills she

learned creating NPA have helped her identify the rudiments of successful research teams at Rinat. She also feels comfortable talking with policymakers and stakeholders, who can hold very different views of research than scientists—a skill she also developed at NPA, she says. Ultimately, Christoperson says that her postdoc-advocacy days are behind her for now. "We do have postdocs here, although not very many of them."I haven't really seen an opportunity or seen a need that I thought that I could make a difference in. I would if I did, but I'm not really involved in postdoc stuff anymore where I am." Still, she remembers her involvement in NPA fondly. "It was a fantastic experience for me. I count it as one of the most meaningful things I've ever done in my entire life … in terms of its impact on people, and seeing that it's still going on and going strong. I'm very, very proud of our work." Considered as a group, the careers of all of NPA's founders indicate that advocacy work need not harm careers and indeed may be advantageous, providing valuable connections, confidence, and leadership and communication skills. All of the founders have found success in the areas they have chosen: academia, industry, policy, consulting, and entrepreneurship. Their experiences suggest that if you are passionate about something beyond your bench research, you can work on it without giving up your scientific ambitions.

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PARENTS’ CORNER—Research Spotlight on Parental Involvement In Education NEA Reviews of the Research on Best Practices in Education "When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more." That's the conclusion of A New Wave of Evidence, a report from Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (2002). The report, a synthesis of research on parent involvement over the past decade, also found that, regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to:

Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs

Be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits

Attend school regularly

Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school

Graduate and go on to postsecondary education (see A New Wave of Evidence, Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 2002 - in references below).

The school plays an important role in determining the levels of parental involvement in school. Specifically, schools can outline their expectations of parents and regularly communicate with parents about what children are learning. Also, schools can provide opportunities for parents to talk with school personnel about parents' role in their children's education through home visits, family nights, and well-planned parent-teacher conferences and open houses. In addition, the National PTA recommends that parent/ family involvement programs welcome parents as volunteer partners in schools and that these programs invite parents to act as full partners in making school decisions that affect children and families. When parents talk to their children about school, expect them to do well, make sure that out-of-school activities are constructive, and help them plan for college, their children perform better in school. When schools engage families in ways that improve learning and support parent involvement at home and school, students make greater gains. When schools build partnerships with families that respond to parent concerns, honor their contributions, and share decision-making responsibilities, they are able to sustain


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FINANCIAL LITERACY—How Does AIMS Stack-Up in the Challenge? Here is how AIMS compares Nationally amongst the over 80,000 students who completed the Challenge this year. Core Competency

Your Students' Average Score

National Average Score











Saving and Investing





Protecting Against Risk



Protecting Against Risk

Overall Average



Educator Toolkit

Saving and Investing

Toolkit Link




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FINANCIAL LITERACY—continued A total of 34 of your students completed the Challenge. Their scores are below, ordered by number of questions answered correctly (out of 40 questions). Due to privacy concerns, scores cannot be matched to student names.

ALL SCORES (34 Students) Percentage Score

Number of Students


























































Correct Answers

Average score for your students: 60% National average score: 69%

Adventures in Math & Science

AIMS STAFF Dr. Doris Sarr, Director AIMS I & II—

240 Blackburn Science Building Murray, KY 42071 Phone: 1-877-424-6777 Fax: 270-809-4351 E-mail:

Stephen D. Keene, Coordinator—AIMS I—

We’re on the Web!

Evan O’Neal, Coordinator— AIMS II—


Gail Woolridge, Administrative Assistant—

SCHEDULE AT-A-GLANCE May 24th Bridge RA/Head RA Move in Day Richmond College 28th – 31st AIMS Staff Retreat & Training Eminence, MO 28th 2:00pm – 4:00pm Bridge 2012 Move-In Day Richmond College (Gail Woolridge, Jenifer Axtell & Elexius Benford will assist Bridge Students) 28th – June 8th Bridge Evening Activities 29th Summer Classes Begin (Bridge Classes) June 1st – 3rdBridge Weekend (Bridge Students, Bridge RA, Head RA, Director, Coordinators) Patti’s/Hank Williams: Lost Highway Grand Rivers, KY Kentucky Lake Pontoon Boat/Cookout Kentucky Lake Kentucky Oaks Mall/Olive Garden Paducah, KY 4th 9:00am-12pm Residential Staff Move In Day 4th-8th Residence Hall Set-up by RA Staff 5th First Aid and CPR Training for Residential Staff *Some teachers will be joining as well 8th Bridge Students Go Home for the Weekend 10th 2pm-4pm Undergraduate Move-In Day 4pm Family Cook-Out

7pm Movie Night at the Cheri Theater 11th Undergraduate Classes Begin 11th Electives/Science Research 7:00pm – 9:00pm 12th Electives/Science Research 7:00pm – 9:00pm 13th AIMS Testing (Undergraduates)/Luau Carr Health First Family Night 14th Evening Activity TBD 7:00pm – 9:00pm 15th Students Go Home for Weekend Following Classes– Bridge &Undergraduates 17th Students Return 6:00pm AIMS Summer Birthday Party 7:00pm – 9:00pm 18th Classes Resume Electives/Science Research 7:00pm – 9:00pm 19th Electives/Science Research 7:00pm – 9:00pm th 20 Memphis College Tour & Cultural Outing 21st Evening Activity TBD 7:00pm – 9:00pm 22nd Undergraduates Go Home For Weekend Following Classes nd 22 – 24th Annual Bridge St. Louis Trip (Bridge Students, Bridge RA, Director, Coordinators)

24th Students Return to Campus Bridge Return from Trip Evening Activity TBD 7:00pm – 9:00pm 25th Classes Resume Electives/Science Research 7:00pm – 9:00pm th 26 Electives/Science Research 7:00pm – 9:00pm 27th Morning Classes until 10:45 am Math 8:00am-9:15am Group A: Science Adventure 9:20am-10:45am Group B: Computers 9:20am-10:45am Depart at 11:00am for AIMS Day at Venture River Eddyville, KY Bridge Graduation 7pm *Family Night 8:30pm-9:30pm *Free Time 9:30pm-10:30pm *Floor Meeting 10:30pm 28th Cultural Extravaganza 29th Morning Classes until 12:00pm Closing Symposium 12:30pm (to get settled in before program starts Move out of Residence Hall (Everyone) 30th – July 4th End of Summer Trip - TBA

May Newsletter 2012  

AIMS Newsletter for May 2012!