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Diamond Mind The Newsletter of the Russell Conwell Educational Services Center

Volume 3 : Issue 2 : Spring 2012

30th Annual RCC Honors Banquet The RCC Celebrates its Scholars and Citizens

Dr. Marcus Foster Award

Briana Richardson-Jones (UB)

Dr. Ethel Allen Award Julius Sharp (MSUB)

Dr. Celso Ramon Garcia Award Melissa Burks (MSUB)

Dr. Valaida S. Walker Award Breanna Andrews (Act 101) Jaslyn Johnson (ESC) Bethanie Sessoms (SSS) Daniella Pierre (STEM) Samuella Takyi-Buachie (MSUB) Sharay-Lynn Price (UB)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award


n Wednesday, April 18, 2012, the Russell Conwell Center celebrated its Thirtieth Annual Student Awards Ceremony. Parents, faculty, guests and staff gathered to honor the accomplishments of a stellar group of students. The award winners embody the spirit of those for whom the awards are named. Moreover, they exemplify creativity, persistence, excellence, service, and commitment to community, as they engage in the pursuit of knowledge. As stated by Deborah McGriff, “We must always go the second mile. When we go the first mile, we simply do what is required of us. It is when we go the second mile that excellence is achieved.” The banquet honorees have steadfastly gone the second mile, striving for excellence and unearthing the diamonds within themselves. -Michael Stokes, Director

Baye Kane (Act 101) Kieu-Uyen Nguyen (ESC) Vasile Donos (STEM) Dior Billups (SSS)

Elizabeth Stahlecker Memorial Award D’Juan Lyons (Act 101)

Carlos Martinez Memorial Award Stephanie Hernandez (ESC)

Dr. Bernard C. Watson Award Sandy Matczak (Act101) Alexis L. Rylander (SSS) Brittany Tummarello (SSS)

Rev. Dr. Sarah Potter Smith Award Kayla Gregg (Act 101) Ragine Lewis (MSUB)

Ms. Norma Arnold Award Phimy Pham (ACT 101) Joel Culbreath (ESC) Wiletta White (SSS) Kourtnee Lynch (STEM) Marjani Lewis (MSUB) Dylan Edmunds-Carty (UB)

Janice Kersey-Boyd Spirit Award Sahar Bivins-Abdullah (Act101) Tamanna Sultana (ESC) Kathelyne Maree Pichardo (SSS) Elizabeth Freer (STEM) | Page 1

Community Fellows Teach 2nd Grade D

uring the fall semester, the Community nurse, construction worker, ballerina and many Fellows of the Russell Conwell Center others. In addition, the speakers emphasized planned and implemented an event to the importance of reading and getting a good highlight the importance of education for education in order to pursue a career. students in grades K-6. The event utilized the Mrs. Donnelly, one of the second grade children’s book “Whose Shoes” by Stephen teachers, said “the students love when special R. Swinburne to help students become aware guests come and read to them. They become of future careers and the role of education very engaged and listen intently.” When asking in achieving their dreams. On December the students what they learned, they responded 2nd, two of the Community Fellows, with, “shoes keep you safe,” “there are different Amba Kasongo and Olivia Ciallella, along shoes for different jobs,” and “everyone doesn’t with the Director of the Russell Conwell have the same shoes.” Jan Schaffer explained, Amba Kasongo (left) and Olivia Ciallella (right) Center, Michael Stokes, and the Manager of “I gained a great amount of joy by participating Administration, Felicia Woods, attended the in this event. The children really make you think about your own shoes event. Also present was, Jan Schaffer, the Executive Director of the Saint and what you could have done differently.” Christopher’s Foundation, the guest reader, Joseph Proietta, Founder and CEO, Jack Fitzsimmons, Board Chairperson, and Rosa Ramos, Lower The job of a Community Fellow is to be an academic coach and mentor School Principal. to Temple University’s incoming freshmen and the local community. They helped reiterate and further instill the importance of striving for More than 50 second grade students attended the program. Amba ones’ dream and understanding that education plays a major role. introduced the staff and explained the purpose of the occasion. Jan Schaffer read the book, while Amba and Olivia continued an interactive For more information about the RCC Community Fellow program dialogue with the students. The students were very excited and contact Michael Stokes at 215.204.5544 or apply at responded with energy and interest. They were educated about possible rcc/site/forms/RCCcomunityFellows.html careers, their responsibilities through a pictorial display of the footwear -Olivia Ciallella and Amba Kasongo, Community Fellows of such careers. The speakers explored the kinds of shoes worn by a


LEADership Certificate Series

hursday March 1st, kicked off the Russell Conwell Center’s LEADership Certificate Series. The event included an overview of the three fundamental theories students learned: Social Change Leadership, Servant Leadership and Transformational Leadership.

students to choose which would work best for them and their individual schedules. After a brief introduction to the event by Director Michael Stokes, STEM counselor, Briana Chang and Act 101 counselor, Lin Lawson led the first presentation on their component, Social Change. This component follows a bigger model that encourages leadership as a change agent. It enforces group values that are combined with one’s individual values to effect change in society and community. SSS counselor, Correy Brown, led the presentation for Servant Leadership; a component focused on making an individual a stronger leader; one who works to make the job of the group less arduous and to become more effective when leading a group. He discussed some paradoxes such as, “Right enough to Say, I’m Wrong.” Lastly, Juanita Jenkins, Academic Advisor II, and Quanda Garrison, Assistant Director of Advising, presented the last component: Transformational Leadership. Asking participants to stand up and do their best Michael Jackson move, before discussing transformational leadership, energized the audience.

The LEADership certificate – Leadership, Excellence, And, Development – series gave students the opportunity to select the type(s) of leadership component most suited to their interests and aptitudes. Once they attended the sessions the students completed an online assessment that integrated their leadership style with the theory they studied. Students were eligible to receive three different levels of certification: silver, gold or platinum. Each certificate level has its own requirements and allows Page 2 |

Despite their differences, each component of leadership have overlapping values and collectively aim to strengthen students to become more effective leaders for their organizations, jobs and role in the classroom. For more information on the LEADership Certificate Series and how to get involved visit html or contact Juanita Jenkins at 215.204.3242. -Alexandra Olivier, Editorial Intern


iEXCEL Internship 2012

he RCC has developed an exciting extension of its student leadership development program in the Experience, Competence, Enhanced Learning (iEXCEL) Internship. In its inaugural year, the iEXCEL internship provides professional development and training for talented students. Through this internship, students are challenged to apply content and course knowledge, while developing their leadership skills. To be considered for the program students were required to possess a minimum 3.0 GPA, have active involvement in the RCC and/or Temple University, and complete a rigorous screening and interview process. It is a pleasure to introduce the 2011-12 iEXCEL Interns and their assignments: Dannaly Sam, Finance Major

Psychology Freshmen Interest Group (FIG), including creating an awareness of the varied careers in psychology and the requirements of each. Review assignments in the 2011 Summer Bridge Seminar to infuse examples of diversity and cultural awareness, as well as develop. Spanish language materials for ESL students. Marlene DeVose, Kinesiology Major Science Freshmen Interest Group (FIG) and Healthy Lifestyle Series: Develop outreach and content programming for freshmen invited to participate in the Health Science/ Pharmacy FIG, including creating an awareness of the varied careers in the sciences and the requirements of each. Develop a Healthy Lifestyle Series to offer to students during the 2012 Summer Bridge Program.

Financial Literacy and Budget Analysis: Develop workshops and articles to assist Christine Vinson, Criminal Justice Major students to become financially literate. Input (L to R) Bethanie Sessoms, Dannaly Sam, Jamie Lewis Academic Coach Training and Development: and analyze program costs for the academic Develop training materials for the RCC year and the 2011 Summer Bridge Program to project costs for the 2012 Academic Coaches and Community Fellows, which will be offered in Summer Bridge Program. 2012-13. Prepare goals, objectives and content for curriculum training Angelica Cedano, Psychology Major and facilitate training for the coaches. Psychology Freshmen Interest Group (FIG) and Cultural Transitions: Develop outreach and content programming for students in the

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Living with the RCC T

o live on-campus or commute? This daunting question has stymied many freshmen over the years. Among the inherent questions if you live on-campus are “Will I make friends?” “What will happen in the residence halls?” “Can I study and party?” The answers are made clearer and easier when students live on the RCC Living Learning Communities (LLC) floors.

The RCC had two wings in White Hall for the 2011-12 academic year; one focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and one focused on Leadership and Service. The residents, RCC and non-RCC students, integrated their coursework and university experience through LLC programming and activities. The RCC LLC members were vested in the success of their freshmen floor peers. To help build community, the floor offered its annual “RCC Cribs” contest whereby roommates showcased their Temple and RCC spirit, as well as their “bling-bling.” The contestants were videotaped with staff selecting the best cribs. The 2011-2012 RCC Cribs winner was Anthony Long, the runners up were Teresa Dabback and Phara Clermont. Aside from community building and social enrichment, the floors were heavily involved in academic discourse and development. As part of the academic programming of the LLC, the floor participated in the following:  Let Chem Eat Cake, Chemical Heritage Foundation in Old City  Scientific History of Baking with Tastings  Molecular Biology Seminar “Maternal Diet and Brain Development: Mom’s Diet Matters.”

Winner Anthony Long (left) runners up Teresa Dabback (right) and Phara Clermont (Not Pictured)

 Ronald E. McNair Program Career Panel  Mummies of the World  Temple Campus Sustainability Day

 Temple Biology Department Seminar Series: Dr. Greg Adams, Immunology, Fox Chase Cancer Center  Brown Bag Lectures at the Chemical Heritage Foundation: Wilbur Atwater, “Respiration Calorimetry, and the Science of Nutrition in the United States” With their high level of academic and community engagement, we expect the RCC LLC members to flourish this year and beyond. Now that finals are over, the RCC encourages the floor members to continue to prepare for a great summer and the 2012-2013 academic year. -Michael Stokes, Director, RCC | Page 3

Spotlight: Kristy Cordero A

Graduation, Research and Warm Weather

senior neuroscience major and psychology minor, Kristy Cordero has set her sights on a PhD and is more than determined to acquire it. With plans to someday become a faculty member equipped with her own research lab, she is most interested in the neurobiology of drug addiction. With doctoral acceptance letters from the University of California Irvine and the University of Miami, Kristy accepted admission to Oregon Health and Sciences University. As you can see, she is eager to get out there and experience something new. Although she began as a student who initially held no interest in the rigorous work of research, Kristy has gone to work on four projects, presented at ten conferences – three of which were in her specific discipline – was awarded the Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation at the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting 2010 and is still tackling the realm of research as she prepares herself for graduate school. Despite her limited awareness and exposure to research, Kristy has distinguished herself to be a skillful and dedicated researcher and has been recognized for her efforts.

research so it was nice to see it all work out in the end and see it on paper. How do you prepare to give presentations on your research? I practice in front of a mirror or practice in front of other McNair scholars; it’s more of getting through your own doubts. As a McNair scholar I was always prepared to do my best; it was just more getting over your own self-doubts. McNair sets it up so that you do your research in the summer, the bulk of it, and then you present it at conferences at the end of the summer or during the academic school year. What suggestions would you give to a freshman interested in research? Talk to upperclassmen and your advisor in your department. I know that at least in neuroscience there is a specific advisor you can talk to that can direct you to labs and other contact information. If none of that works I would just email faculty who are doing research that interests you and blatantly say, “I’m a freshman and am interested in getting my foot in the door in terms of research. Are there are any openings in your lab?”

What has your experience at Temple been like?

What skill or experience do you value most from the McNair program?

My experience has been excellent. My research experience has been phenomenal. I’ve gotten tons of experience from both the McNair program and my department; I got a lot more experience than the typical undergraduate.

The thing I got most from McNair had to have been the conferences. The McNair conferences prepare you for your discipline Kristy Cordero specific conferences and I don’t know if there’s much prep you can do for what a conference is like besides Do you have a favorite research project? practicing and practicing in front of other scholars. But the fact that I was able to go to seven McnNair conferences in the last three years was One of my projects was actually published in the Behavioral practice enough to get me to present at a neuroscience conference and Neuroscience Journal, looking at two strains of mice and their abilities I presented at three, including the National Neuroscience Conference. to perform two different hippocampus mediated tasks. Hippocampus is the primary brain structure for learning memory. The DBA2 mouse, is Do you think you’ll come back to Philadelphia to teach? like a mutant mouse that has different hippocampus abnormalities. We Probably not just because I’m really excited to spread my wings and go wanted to compare this mutant mouse to the standard C57 mouse that elsewhere in the country, I’m excited to travel, I’m excited to see other doesn’t have hippocampus abnormalities behaviorally to observe the parts of the country especially the west coast and I’m kind of sick of the cognitive deficits associated with the hippocampus dysfunction. cold! [To see it published] felt awesome, I invested 5,000 hours into that -Alexandra Olivier, Editorial Intern

iEXCEL Internship 2012

Bethanie Sessoms, Tourism, & Hospitality Management Major

Communication and Brochures: Develop materials and draft designs for the RCC brochure. Develop student oriented outreach materials for the RCC 2012 Summer Bridge class and coordinate a social media outreach campaign. Jamie Lewis, Early Childhood Education Major

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continued from page 3 ESC Programming Outreach and Community Building: Develop an outreach program to re-connect ESC students with programming activities including assessing the programming interests of ESC students and the needs of the junior and senior class. Congratulations to the iEXCEL interns, who made significant progress and offerring a substantial contribution to the RCC. -Michael Stokes, Director, RCC

Spring 2012  

Diamond Mind Newsletter

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