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Volume 12, Issue 7 October 2012

Director’s Chair education comes first! The AIMS motto “we work hard and play even harder”!!!! The road you are on right now may seem a little rocky…but taking the correct path can make the journey smoother!

I hope that each of you have started the school year off on the “right” foot and on the Honor roll or close to it this term!!! Remember,

Good luck to all of you who are taking the ACT this month!!! We are proud of you! One step closer to your college goal!!! Take care and study hard. Yours in education,

WÉÜ|á VÄtÜ~@ftÜÜ

This semester, we have



Greetings Ghost and Goblins!!!!

As a reminder, if you change addresses (home or email), please notify us ASAP. There were several messages left on the AIMS Facebook page (after the fact) telling us that they had not received the ACT waiver or various other information. If we do not have your correct address, your mail will get delayed. Help us out and do your part!

two special volunteers in our office who are working on independent living skills and office skills. You will see a small note from each one of them in this month’s newsletter. Please make them feel welcome to the AIMS family when you meet them!

AIMS Achievements! Congratulations Jade Townsley for being selected as a Paxton Scholars Program Participant.

Congratulations Aalecia Crittendon on being accepted to the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Congratulations to Vivian Parham for having outstanding grades.

Inside this issue: Director’s Chair


KY STEM Girls Collaborative


AIMS Achievements




Coordinators’ Corners


Volunteer Messages


October Birthdays


Career Profile


Parents’ Corner


COORDINATOR’S CORNER—AIMS I Hello AIMS Family: Looking forward to seeing several Bridge Students here on Saturday, October 6th! There is a lot of work for you and I hope to assist you as you prepare to begin your journey into college. If you cannot make this meeting, please remember to contact me so that we can set up a time to discuss the meeting and complete the paperwork necessary for you to remain in the Bridge Program.

School is in full swings for most of you and very soon you will see Evan and I as we visit with you, our current AIMS Participants, and recruit new members. Study hard and keep those grades up! We will be checking in with your counselors and getting your current grade reports as well. You know we always have some special treats in store for those of you who stay on top of the academic game.

October. But I am very excited to see each my AIMS children and I hope your counselors have good news to report to me. Remember, we’re here to help if you need us! Sincerely,

Stephen D. Keene

I can’t believe it’s already


It’s a cold and rainy October 1 here on the Murray State campus. Can you believe it is October?? Christmas will be here before we know it! I trust you are all working harder this year than you ever have and with your FUTURE in mind. Remember, you will get out whatever you put in—that’s just how life works! So if you’re giving 50%, Page 2

then you can expect 50% in return. But, hard work pays interest! If you give 100%, you will be rewarded with a return greater than 100%! As always, if you are having any issues with classes, do NOT procrastinate. Seek help immediately. I also challenge you all to step out of your comfort zone this year and take part in an extra-curricular activity that you might

not normally do. You may surprise yourself ! Let us know what you need. We are for you.

Evan O’Neal


Hello from Krystal Walker and Angie Theis: Volunteers Hello:

letting me volunteer with AIMS.

My name is Krystal Walker. I like the colors purple and pink and I love dogs. I also love kids and I like to tell jokes and have fun. I enjoy shopping and going out to eat. I also enjoy making new friends and meeting new people.

Krystal Walker

I enjoy swimming, going to the movies, and roller skating. I would like to thank Dr. Sarr for


joy making crafts and especially like making things for people who come into my life. I would like to meet new people and talk about nice things. I would also like to show people that I can live on my own. Angie Theis

My name is Angie Theis. I en-









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CAREER PROFILE: Documenting Exposure for Disease Prevention By Eliasabeth Pain French epidemiologist Emilie Counil often encounters suffering—much of which, she believes, is unnecessary. Since January 2011, Counil has led a multidisciplinary team at the Paris 13 University, working to link the occupational history of newly diagnosed cancer patients with exposure to workplace carcinogens. Among other projects, herGISCOP93 team examines individual cases to determine whether patients can legitimately claim that their disease is linked to occupational exposure so that they can seek financial compensation. This, they hope, will provide new incentives for employers to prevent future exposure. One obstacle to cancer prevention, Counil says, is poor public awareness of the health effects of workplace conditions. Another, she says, is that at least in France, occupational health issues are rarely factored in to public health strategies. Counil aims to draw public attention to carcinogen exposure at work so that “occupational cancers … are put on the political agenda as part of public health policy.” Trials and disappointments Given the opportunity, Counil says, she probably would have studied medicine. But she needed funding because her family could not offer her financial support. She won a scholarship—but it was to attend an engineering school. Soon after arriving at the Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences(AgroParisTech), Counil decided she couldn’t see herself as an industry engineer, the job the school’s master’s degree was preparing her for. So she specialized in the formulation of food products and, in her third and final year, leveraged that expertise into a 6-month internship with the French Institute of Research for Developmentresearching malnutrition in Burkina Faso. This first contact with public health issues was “a revelation,” Counil says. After obtaining her engineering di-

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ploma in 2000, Counil earned a 1-year professional Master of Science degree in public health from the Paris 7 University and the French School of Public Health (now called EHESP) in Paris. She spent the required internship at a French nongovernmental organization, assessing the environmental, health, and social risks associated with arsenic contamination in Mali, which is caused by gold mining. “At the time, there was no transparency. The information given by the company was very scarce,” she says. The experience convinced Counil of the usefulness of research to inform the decision-making process. Determined now to pursue a Ph.D., and again in need of financial support, she returned—ironically— to AgroParisTech to work under the supervision of Philippe Verger, her former professor there. Starting in 2002, Counil developed epidemiological approaches to assess exposure to mycotoxin via consumption of contaminated goods such as coffee and cocoa, and the potential health effects of that exposure. She wanted to know whether the current regulatory limits were appropriate. She discovered a “double standard,” and also what she calls the “precautionary principle paradox” in international public health. Mycotoxin exposure, she learned, was probably sufficient to cause disease only in highly exposed groups, such as those working in agriculture in developing countries. Rich countries, meanwhile, set strict regulatory limits to protect their consumers, which threatens farmers' livelihoods. Dismayed by the inequities, she returned to fieldwork. After graduating in 2005, Counil took a position as a field epidemiologist with the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance (InVS). She joined one of InVS’s Interregional Cells of Epidemiology (CIRE), which carry out disease surveillance and advise decisionmakers on emerging public health issues. After a rare, nonoccupational case of mesothelioma was diagnosed, a

group of people who had unknowingly lived for 40 years near an asbestosgrinding plant in Aulnay-sous-Bois, near Paris, asked the ministry of health to investigate their environmental exposure and possible health effects During her work at InVS, Counil demonstrated that she was capable of “a very high scientific rigor,” Hubert Isnard, the scientific coordinator of her CIRE, wrote in a recommendation letter he shared with Science Careers. The letter notes Counil's receptiveness to nonepidemiological approaches, her collaborations with modelers to understand how asbestos dust disperses, and her embrace of historical and social research to compensate for a dearth of company data. Counil also has “a very strong ability to relate with others, which allowed her to be recognized and accepted by all the stakeholders,” Isnard wrote. Counil enjoyed the work and found the project exciting—then politics intruded. The publication of her report, which linked cases of cancer to environmental asbestos exposure and sought to motivate a national discussion, was delayed as authorities scrambled to make a public announcement. Afraid the report wouldn't be published, she quit her post in frustration. A suitable track Counil started a postdoc at Laval University Hospital Research Center in Quebec, Canada, in November 2006. There, she compared the exposure of Quebec and Greenland Inuit communities to industrial trans fats from food consumption. She found that people in Greenland had much lower levels of trans fats in their blood than the Quebec group, a difference she linked to more aggressive food regulations in Denmark, where Greenland's imported commercial food came from. Concerned about the health of exposed people in northern Quebec, she headed out into the field to advocate for betterquality foods to be sold in local stores.


CAREER PROFILE: Documenting Exposure for Disease Prevention (continued) “This was really a very exciting project because I really could go from the generation of scientific information" to "public health action in the field,” she says. After about 3 years, Counil and her partner, who had come with her to Quebec to do neurophysiology research, decided to return to France. At a conference, Counil served on a panel with French public health researcher and advocate Annie Thébaud-Mony, whom she knew from her days working on asbestos exposure. Thébaud-Mony invited Counil to join her GISCOP93 occupational cancer research team at the Paris 13 University. Counil was invited to join the group, ThébaudMony writes in an e-mail to Science Careers, because of her scientific and human understanding of public health issues, her strength as an epidemiologist, and their “shared vision of public health research as a production of multidisciplinary knowledge for action and of quantitative and qualitative approaches as complementary.” Four months later, in January 2010, Counil won a research grant from the French National Cancer Institute and a 3-year tenure-track professorship in epidemiology at EHESP, her public health alma matter. Soon after,


Thébaud-Mony retired and Counil took over the GISCOP93 project Since the survey kicked off in 2002, the GISCOP93 team has put together a database of more than 1000 cancer patients and their occupational carcinogen exposure. Counil added a quantitative approach to the project’s previous qualitative approach. Her aim is to identify industrial sectors and occupational activities where carcinogen exposure is common and to determine how occupational exposure relates to social inequalities. She also analyzes how social inequalities impact patients’ chances of getting financial compensation. Toward greater transparency One difficulty Counil has encountered is a lack of transparency—which has contributed to a paucity of accessible information—when it comes to occupational risks. “What occurred 50 years ago, in large part, we will never be able to reconstruct,” she says. “We can’t build efficient public health programs if we don’t build on history.” She often finds that her efforts to win the attention of industry and policymakers yield disappointing results. She equates her relationship to government and industry to a trick she recalls children playing, pouring itching powder into each

other’s shirts. Another difficulty, she says, is finding adequate channels to communicate her results to stakeholders and motivate public discussion of the issues. Most of all, she is frustrated at the slow pace of change. “Occupational health is an especially difficult public health field to make things change because there are very strong forces operating and enormous economical stakes,” she says. Yet she finds in this inequity a source of motivation. Progress may be slow, but sometimes it comes. Counil’s asbestos report was published shortly after she left for Quebec, and the municipality is now overseeing the dismantlement of the asbestos-producing site. Local public health authorities funded a feasibility study— Counil has contributed—to assess what medical support could be provided to the exposed population. She will soon present the study—which, she says, offers arguments for and against medical support—to health authorities. “We don’t know if they will decide to do something or not,” she says. But “at least it will make the process transparent.”

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PARENTS’ CORNER: PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN LEARNING STATISTICS The National Household Education Survey found the following for 3-5 year olds not yet enrolled in kindergarten in 1999:

36% of parents with a low socioeconomic status.

61% whose mother's highest education was less than high school were read to three or more times in the past week by a family member, compared with

76% whose mother had a high school diploma or equivalent,

85% whose mother had completed vocational education or some college,

91% whose mother had a college degree, and

93% whose mother had a graduate/professional degree or training.

36% visited a library at least once in the last month with a family member,

39% did arts and crafts three or more times in the past week with a family member,

64% were taught letters, words, or numbers three or more times in the past week by a family member,

81% were read to three or more times in the past week by a family member,

50% were told a story three or more times in the past week by a family member, and

49% were taught songs and music three or more times in the past week by a family member.

62% of parents with a high socioeconomic status read to their children every day, compared to

The 1997 National Survey of America's Families found the following children were read to or told stories fewer than 3 days a week:

24% of children living below 200% of the poverty level, compared to 10% of children living above 200% of the poverty level, and

24% of children in one-parent families, compared to 15% of children living in two-parent families.

The National Household Education Survey found the following for parents with children in grades K-12 in 1999:

50.4% had a bachelor's degree,


54.6% had a graduate/professional school education.

Percentage of parents who reported attending a school event in 1999:

39.2% had less than a high school education,

59.0% had a high school diploma/GED,

67.2% had some college/vocational/technical education,

76.2% had a bachelor's degree,

79.0% had a graduate/professional school education.

92.0% reported attending a general meeting, a scheduled meeting with a teacher, a school event, acting as a volunteer, or serving on a committee,

Percentage of parents who reported attending a scheduled meeting with a teacher in 1999:

79.0% reported attending a general meeting in their child's school,

73.0% reported attending a scheduled meeting with a teacher; and

66.2% reported attending a school event.

61.6% had less than a high school education, 69.6% had a high school diploma/GED, 74.4% had some college/vocational/technical education,

79.1% had a bachelor's degree,


75.3% had a graduate/professional school education.

Parents who reported acting as a volunteer or serving on a committee in 1999:

26.7% had a high school diploma/GED,

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38.1% had some college/vocational/technical education,


The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found the following for kindergarteners in the fall of 1998: 46% of parents read to their children every day.

13.5% had less than a high school education,


KY GIRLS STEM COLLABORATIVE We are pleased to announce that we will be holding our 4th Annual Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative Conference at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY on October 12, 2012. Below is a press release – please distribute widely – we hope to have a great turnout from across the state.

Statistics, Kentucky Education & Workforce Development Cabinet. For the girls attending the conference, we will have young women in STEM fields share their strategies for success. Exhibitors from prominent Kentucky industries as well as girl-serving organizations and programs will be available to meet with conference attendees. Lunch will be provided on-site.

Conference to Address STEM Opportunities for Kentucky Girls

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (September 7, 2012) On Friday, October 12, 2012, the Kentucky Girls STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Collaborative, in partnership with The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University, will hold its Fourth Annual Conference, “Collaboration: The Key to Successful Programming for Girls in STEM,” at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.

Educators, counselors, business and community leaders, parents and girls are invited to come meet others with a strong desire to see girls discover opportunities available to them within the STEM fields. Conference attendees will explore up-and-coming career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math and learn proactive steps to help girls overcome roadblocks to their success in these fields.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Claudia Rawn, Faculty, University of Tennessee, Material Science & Engineering and Senior Research & Development, Oakridge National Laboratory, Materials & Technology Division, Oakridge, TN. Mr. Brian Mefford, Founder & Chairperson, Connected Nation, and Mr. Ron Crouch, Director, Research & VOLUME 12, ISSUE 7

On Saturday, October 13, in partnership with Western Kentucky University's Ogden College of Science and Engineering and the SKyTeach Program, we are hosting a “Girls STEM Day” from 12:00Noon – 3:00p.m. on the WKU campus. Registration is $5.00/student and includes a pizza lunch. We welcome girls in grades five through eight to join us for an afterCaption describing picture orexploranoon of hands-on, minds-on tion intographic. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Female STEM practitioners and educators will lead girls through activities that mirror realworld STEM tasks and highlight creative and innovative problem solving. Participants will also learn how to best prepare themselves to study STEM fields in high school and college. Maximum capacity: 150 girls.

Please visit ProgramsEvents/ AnnualConference2012.html to register for the conference and “Girls STEM Day.” Registration for the conference is $25 per person ($10 of that fee will go toward sponsoring future Kentucky Girls STEM events). Registration for the conference begins at 8:30a.m. Welcome begins at 9:00a.m. We look forward to seeing you there! (PD credit offered for all teachers and EILI credit for school administrators and counselors).

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

Dr. Doris Clark—Sarr, Director


Stephen D. Keene, Coordinator AIMS I


Evan O’Neal, Coordinator AIMS II


Gail Woolridge, Administrative Assistant


Schedule-At-A-Glance October TBA Coordinator School Visits


6th MANDATORY Bridge Meeting 1 10:00am—1:00pm Blackburn 251

March 23rd Honor Roll Trip Dinner TBA


ACT Test Date

November TBA Summer Employment Advertisement 3rd

AIMS Fall Workshop/MANDATORY Bridge Meeting 2 Blackburn 251

ACT Test Date

April TBA

College Tour


ACT Test Date

27th AIMS Summer Orientation 9:00am—12:00pm 251 Blackburn Science Bldg

December 8th Honor Roll Patti’s Trip 8th ACT Test Date

May 27th

Bridge Move-In Day


June 8th

ACT Test Date


Undergraduate Move-In Day

Honor Roll Memphis Trip Dinner Texas de Brazil Jersey Boys (Musical)

January 2013 TBA Summer Employment Interviews February TBA Summer Employment Interviews (continued) 2nd

MANDATORY Bridge Meeting 3

29th—July 3rd

End of Summer Trip

October 2012 Newsletter  

AIMS monthly Newsletter for October 2012

October 2012 Newsletter  

AIMS monthly Newsletter for October 2012