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The Newsletter of the Academic Success and Enrichment Programs at Barnard College

Fall 2011 Volume 1, Issue 3

ASEP Biannual Message from the Dean Inside this issue: HEOP Summer Collage


HEOP Breakfast


CSTEP Student Highlight


STEP Accomplishments


Summer with CSTEP




Graduate Profile


The time has come for the third issue of the Academic Success and Enrichment Program (ASEP) newsletter. Since 2008, we have worked diligently to create a space to highlight the opportunities available under the ASEP umbrella. ASEP’s goal is to engage students in rigorous academic experiences while providing the support needed to meet academic challenges and to discover their full potential.

Alumnae. We hope you enjoy it! We are very excited to welcome the new incoming class of strong, beautiful Barnard women and wish them a successful first year at Barnard!

Programs Highlighted in this Issue: Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP) Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

It is with great delight that we present the amazing events and accomplishments that have been taking place within our programs and most importantly with our students, over the Summer and Fall semester. The articles in this newsletter are written by ASEP staff, current Barnard Students and Barnard

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF)

Sincerely, Michell Tollinchi-Michel

Gladys Velez-Caicedo: HEOP Student Highlight When I first arrived on Barnard’s campus for a fiveweek summer program, I thought I should have been spending my last summer before college in a more exciting way. However, my summer at Barnard would prove to be one of the most emotionally stirring, challenging but exciting summers of my life. During the summer pro-

gram I had intellectually inspiring classes, and I shared them with young women that had the same curiosity and thirst for knowledge that I did. My professors were all so engaging and willing to help, and it made me look forward to classes. From the fast-paced afternoons, to the lazy weekend mornings, to the sleepless nights, I grew emotionally and

academically with this group of young women. My summer in the HEOP program prepared me to excel at Barnard. I also did a pre-orientation program called Columbia Urban Experience that showed me the culturally diverse city that is New York while sharing my experiences with a small group of first year students. Continued on page 4.

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HEOP Breakfast On October 25th the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) collaborated with Barnard College’s Admission Office to host its annual HEOP Counselor Breakfast in the Diana Oval. The breakfast serves as an on-campus open house to current high school students, guidance counselors, and guardians detailing the eligibility requirements for HEOP at Barnard. HEOP Counselors discussed financial aid opportunities given through the program in addition to discussing the aca-

demic resources available. Current Barnard HEOP scholars Mariany Polanco, Weyu Hodge, Angelica Lopez, Liscare Castro, Tanisha Golding, and Barnard student Martha Zamora engaged prospective students with their tips for success as Barnard Students. First Year HEOP students, Heidy Garcia, Amanda Erakky, and Gladys Velez-Caicedo, were also involved in the breakfast by giving prospective students a tour of campus. The HEOP breakfast pro-

CSTEP Student Highlight: Shaday Fermin

vides high school students with the opportunity to learn about the HEOP program, the benefits of attending Barnard and the opportunity to meet with current students to learn the “real deal” about college life. The HEOP breakfast was a success.

“To catch the reader's attention, place an interesting sentence or quote from the story here.”

The following piece is an interview with CSTEP scholar Shaday Fermin, BC ’15 (SF), conducted by Mariany Polanco, BC ’13 (MP). Ms. Fermin is a first year student at Barnard College and she has not yet declared her major. MP: How did you learn about CSTEP? SF: In the month of April, Elida, the academic counselor for CSTEP sent an email stating that I qualified for a summer intensive program at Barnard College, beginning the summer before my first year. She was very welcoming and encouraged me to apply. MP: How would you describe the experience in the summer? SF: The summer experience was a lot of hard work, but it immediately created a community amongst those involved. HEOP and CSTEP students were working together to understand their place at Barnard College. The program was an amazing learning experience. We took classes in various subjects, such as chemistry or biology and we learned about what to expect as we entered our first-year. We were also

able to meet many of the deans and administration. It felt like I was getting into the Barnard community. How would you describe a typical day? Our days began at 8:00 am. After having breakfast we began our academic schedules. Our first class was biology, students then split into either chemistry or calculus. Following those two classes were English and Barnard Success. Once our official classes ended we had dinner followed by two sessions of tutoring. Did you benefit from the program? I think that I benefited a lot from the summer program. I got to know professors and learned how to better manage my time, which is a necessary skill to master in order to succeed at Barnard. Leaving the high school environment and entering the college scene, would have been very hard. Also meeting some first-years before the official academic school year began was very comforting. Learning some of their fears and goals made entering Barnard a bit less overwhelming. Is there anything you would change?

I would schedule less time for tutoring and try to adjust the classes according to students’ academic level. I would also add more breaks throughout the day. How is your experience at Barnard so far? My experience at Barnard has been great. It is a lot more laid back than the summer and everyone here is very supportive. Additional Comments: Overall CSTEP was the biggest learning experience, even though it’s a lot of work, once you begin your first-year it is easy to understand why your summer was worth it.

STEP Accomplishments Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bowdoin College, Carnegie Mellon University, Drew University, Felician College, Franklin & Marshall College (2), Georgetown University, Hostos Community College, John Jay College, Mary Baldwin College, Nassau Community College, New York City Technical College, Queens

College, St. Francis College, St. John’s University (early decision), SUNY – Stony Brook University, University of Vermont, Tufts University, and Villanova University is the list of schools where the 2010 -11 Class of Barnard STEP are matriculating. They are pursuing their interest in engineering, medicine, law, education (math/science

teachers), nursing, social work, and liberal arts. In addition to the wonderful colleges they are attending, many of them have received distinguishing scholarships. Continued on page 4.

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Gladys Velez-Caicedo: HEOP: Continued When the first semester began I felt entirely ready to hit the ground running. I knew what classes I wanted to take, where to get help if I needed it, and I had all the support of the HEOP office; that was what helped me the most. Knowing that I had an intimate group of adults that were ready and willing to help me with any questions

eased the transition into college life. This semester I am taking five courses, which include four required for my major, and I am in love with all my classes. The faculty at Barnard are definitely as amazing as people say, but they exceeded all my expectations.

I ran for and won the election for SGA First Year Class President, I am a Division I NCAA Varsity Archer for Columbia, and I am a copy-editor for Nuestras Voces, a Spanish bulletin for the university. You can do anything at Barnard, and that is what HEOP showed me.

A Summer with CSTEP This past summer Barnard’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry ProgramCSTEP, introduced its first group of incoming first years to a summer intensive program. Our initial class of 5 CSTEP Scholars joined the incoming 29 HEOP Scholars for a five week intensive academic program in preparation for their next years as Barnard Scholars. These five admitted students; Bianca Polycarpe, Elena Cespedes, Isabel Farias, Lissa Soares, and Shaday Fermin were extended invitations to participate in our first summer program after a careful selection led by ASEP, CSTEP and Admissions Directors. The purpose of the summer intensive program through CSTEP was to en-

courage the student’s continued interest in the science and technical fields. The summer program allowed the students to experience Barnard’s high academic standards. In addition to a strict day to day academic schedule, CSTEP summer students participated in other activities such as educational field trips to New York University’s School of Dentistry and Albert Einstein College of Medicine as well as meeting with Barnard CSTEP alumnae. The summer experience allowed them to get acquainted with part of the incoming class of 2015, getting to know each other in a more informal setting and more importantly to emphasize communication and teamwork as part of not only ASEP but Barnard’s lar-

ger community. The intimate summer set up enabled CSTEP staff to help students meet the challenges of the competitive fields within science and the technologies. We were able to offer career guidance and skill building that will help students identify and prepare for a career in the aforementioned fields in the near future.

STEP Accomplishments: Continued One student, Livenski Talcius, is a recipient of a full 4-year scholarship at Franklin & Marshall. A classmate, of his both at Barnard STEP and Prospect Heights International HS, Mohamed Bah, will attend the same college as a Posse Foundation Scholar, receiving a 4-year, full-tuition leadership scholarship. Another student, Mesbah Uddin, is attending Georgetown University as a Gates Millennium Scholar. In fact, this is the second year in a row that a Barnard College STEP student has been selected as a Gates Millennium Scholar. The previous year’s Gate’s Millennium Scholarship recipient is currently matriculating at Syracuse University. The graduating seniors made up onethird of the enrollment of last year’s Barnard STEP participants. Some of the students took advantage of the Friday after-

noon (academic year) or Friday morning (summer) SAT class that is led by Professor Barbara Lawrence of the Borough of Manhattan Community College. In our Saturday program, students participate in a variety of courses. The Writing class and New Media are examples of courses taken by seniors. Mr. John Adams, the program’s Academic Counselor, teaches a writing class that focuses on the personal statement and selective essay topics that appear integral to the college admissions process. Instructor Daniel Day teaches a new media class. The class is an opportunity for the students to explore, chronicle, and share their interests in specific topics. The students, pick a topic, research it, and then produce a 3 - 5 minute video presentation, including pictures, graphs/statistics, and closed-caption inserts that they film and

edit. Among the topics that were explored included:- Africans in astronomy, young entrepreneurs who are millionaires, teen mutilation, the gentrification of neighborhoods of color, tattoos, gangs, and the use of technology by teens. The program makes a valiant effort each year to let the graduating seniors and the rest of the STEP participants know that we truly value their time, energy, and persistence. They have the choice of staying in bed or attending to other interests on Saturdays, but this class of high school seniors, as well as those that proceeded them get up, make their way to Barnard, and give their full cooperation to the activities of the STEP program. The STEM professions are soon going to be filled by these young, persistent, and progressive minds and we cannot wait to see the tremendous challenges and hurdles that they will leap over and conquer!

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Mellon Mays Fellowship Program Summer Research Experience Fellows in Barnard’s Mellon-Mays Fellowship Program had exciting research experiences over the summer of 2011. The Mellon Mays Program is a national fellowship program designed to support students of color and others with a commitment to diversity in pursuit of PhDs and academic careers. In addition to a summer research colloquium required for incoming fellows, who are often juniors, MMUF also encourages and financially supports student research initiatives during the summer. In the summer of 2011, rising senior Farida Begum, majoring in History and Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, attended the Critical Language Program in Bangladesh, sponsored by the US Department of State, in order to improve her Bangla and facilitate her research on pros-

titution in Bangladesh. Farida spent the spring semester studying abroad at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Britney Wilson, also a rising senior and an Environmental Science major and African Studies minor, traveled to Kenya and Tanzania to conduct environmental research with a Columbia University group. Rising senior Martha Villalba, an Environmental Studies major, studied turtle populations at Black Rock Forest as part of a Columbia University research team.

Weyu Hodge, majoring in Anthropology journeyed to the Amazon as a member of the Esperanza International Project in Ecuador. Senior Stephanie Marchena, an Art History major, recently started an internship at El Museo del Barrio, which is directly related to her intended field of graduate study, Latin American Art History. Mariany Polanco is majoring in English and is doing research on segregation in Hispanic serving schools before Brown vs. Board of Education.

Our new fellows were also involved in research programs or research-related internships through out the summer. Ali Rosa-Salas, a Women’s, Gender and Sexuality major, was an intern at the Vera Institute of Justice here in New York City and

Barnard CSTEP and MMUF Graduate Profile: Where are they now? As an undergraduate at Barnard, ate student in Yale University’s physics Camille was a CSTEP and MMUF department. She works with simulations scholar. She graduated cum laude, with a of galaxy clusters in the astrophysics and triple major in physics, mathematics, and cosmology group. She is a recipient of a dance. Camille is quoted to have said, National Science Foundation Graduate “The physics was to challenge myself, the Fellowship, and was a semi-finalist for the math was to sharpen my skills, and the National Aeronautics and Space Adminidance was to keep me sane. I found that stration Harriet G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral it was really important for me to figure Fellowship. At the joint conference of the out how to live a balanced life, and I'm National Society of Black Physicists and still in the process of doing that. Once the National Society of Hispanic Physione's life is more or less in order, one can cists, she won a best-poster prize: the AAS really start to Beth Brown Memorial “Everyone has their own sets of interests with Prize. focus on dewhich they can make marks along their paths veloping a Camille also has the really important thing is to make sure you career.” enjoy what you are doing, each day that you are found time to give Camille back to the local comdoing it.” always had an munity. She volunteers interest in for Girls' Science Day, pursuing a career in academia and spent a Saturday event where middle school girls the summers doing research with various from surrounding areas come on campus to professors in the physics department. Her build and conduct experiments, and has research was funded by CSTEP, the Melinitiated a graduate student run multi-tier lon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship mentoring network within the department. (MMUF) and the Hughes Research Internship in Physics and Astronomy. In 2008 she was a recipient of the Margaret Kenny Jensen Prize in Mathematics and the Henry A. Boorse Prize in Physics. Today, Camille is a third year gradu-

Camille Avestruz (BC’09)


ASEP OFFICE 105 MILBANK HALL TEL: 212-854-2024 STEP & C-STEP 5 MILBANK HALL TEL: 212-854-1314 HEOP 001 MILBANK HALL TEL: 212-854-3583

Welcome Class of 2015

ASEP Programs: ASEP Programs: The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP) at Barnard College is a New York State funded program for current Barnard undergraduates, designed to increase access for historically underrepresented minorities or economically disadvantaged students, who demonstrate interest in and show potential for, scientific, technical, health and health-related fields or the licensed professions. The Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) is a program for high school students that provides comprehensive science and mathematics enrichment and college preparatory support for historically under-represented and academically underserved high school students who show promise in math and science. The Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is a statewide program put in place by the New York State legislation in 1969. Barnard College started its program in 1970 and is funded by both the New York State Education Department and Barnard College. Barnard and The Arthur O. Eve HEOP Scholars Program give bright and motivated students

who are economically disadvantaged access to higher education. Once a student is admitted to Barnard as an Arthur O. Eve HEOP Scholar, the Program provides academic support services to ensure her success in college. The Barnard/Spelman Domestic Exchange Program: Established in 1996, the Barnard and Spelman College Domestic exchange program offers an opportunity for current Barnard and Columbia undergraduate students to undergo a semester or yearlong course of study at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF): Established in 1996 for current Barnard undergraduates, the MMUF program encourages minority students, and others with a demonstrated commitment to racial diversity, to pursue academic careers. Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MMUF provides opportunities for talented undergraduates to work with faculty mentors in research and other activities designed to encourage the pursuit of the PhD in the humanities and sciences.

The Intercollegiate Partnership (ICP): Established in 1991, the ICP program is a collaboration between Barnard College and LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York that seeks to facilitate the transfer of community college students to four-year colleges. Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, ICP focuses on students interested in the natural sciences.

ASEP Fall 2011 Newsletter  
ASEP Fall 2011 Newsletter  

The Office of Academic Success and Enrichment Programs at Barnard College presents the Fall 2011 publication of its Newsletter