This Month's Feature Stories
Longwood students travel to the Dominican Republic for Spring Break
Longwood University Study Abroad group
visiting at the house of a local woman
in the Domincan Republic.
PHOTO GALLERY: View the photos on Facebook
Longwood’s Alternative Spring Break program joined recently with Study Abroad to take students to the Dominican Republic.
Fourteen students, one of whom is a graduate student, participated in an alternative spring break trip led by Dr. Melanie Marks, professor of economics and the study-abroad coordinator. They traveled with the New Community Project, an educational and advocacy organization devoted to environmental issues and human justice concerns. Most of the week was spent in La Guama, a community near the border with Haiti.
“We were there to live with the families and get to know the daily life of somebody who is below the average income level in the Dominican,” said Marks. “It wasn’t the poorest community, but there was no indoor plumbing, and the electricity rotated throughout the community.”
In La Guama, students worked with a women’s cooperative that made nutritional bars with high calories for malnourished children in the country. Students helped crush peanuts and process oranges that were used to make homemade peanut butter and orange marmalade that the cooperative sold to raise money for the program.
Marks and the students also helped the nearby village of El Cercado to create a community garden that will rotate among households each growing season. “Every process that we saw, that we were involved in, would have not been how we would do things here,” said Marks. “Students used a plow pulled by oxen to prepare the land for planting.” Full Story.
Longwood's new summer research program has a STEM focus
Heaven Cerritos is part of the inaugural
group of students preparing for a summer of
intense research at Longwood.
Scientific and mathematic exploration at Longwood University is getting a boost from a new summer research program that pairs students and faculty in an eight-week intensive partnership.
The program, called Perspectives on Research in Science and Mathematics (PRISM), is an opportunity for Longwood University students to engage in high-level research as undergraduates. “This is the next step in the development of high-level research at Longwood,” said Dr. Melissa Rhoten, professor of chemistry and PRISM director. “It underscores the commitment this university has made to developing a strong undergraduate research profile and promoting top-notch academic achievement.”
Students will receive a $3,500 stipend in addition to room and board for the duration of the eight-week program. The competitive application process highlights student interest in the new program—14 students will participate in summer research on 11 strategically focused projects.
In keeping with a statewide emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, PRISM promotes research in biology, neuroscience, environmental sciences, physics, chemistry and mathematics. In 2012, the United States Chamber of Commerce listed Virginia first nationally in STEM job concentration—a statistic not lost on the program organizers at Longwood. “Students who are involved in this program will not only have a leg up on their peers in terms of research experience, but also will be top candidates for STEM jobs right here in Virginia,” said Rhoten. “They will develop real opportunities for themselves.” Read More.
Benefits and Opportunities