“History of Medicine” Study Abroad Program in Germany Seeks Students

The “Germany History of Medicine Program” offers students in life science majors an opportunity to travel to Europe for a 5-week program during second summer session (in 2010 from July 3 through August 7).  The program is well suited for pre-medical, pre-veterinary medical and pre-graduate school students interested in any aspect of biomedicine.

The program is designed to expose students to the historical developments in human and veterinary medicine in Europe and the current state of medicine, medical practice, and health care in European countries.  Students will receive 4 hours of credit for VTPP 401 (History of Medicine) and 2-4 additional hours of Directed Studies credit (VTPP 485).  In addition, the VTPP 401 course counts as 4 hours of International Cultural and Diversity credit (6 needed for graduation from TAMU).

Students live with English-speaking host families in Bonn, Germany, and along with a specialized series of lectures by A&M faculty, get to hear guest lecturers in history, history of medicine, homeopathy, and health care in Europe as well as participate in special guided tours of hospitals (human and veterinary), medical and veterinary medical schools, research institutes, zoos, and museums throughout Germany and in Vienna, Austria.  Among our excursions is a day-long visit to the Heart and Diabetes Center of North-Rhine Westfalen, one of the largest heart and kidney transplant hospitals in Germany and where students get to gown and observe cardiac surgeries and meet with the physicians and engineers responsible for their cardiac device unit (ventricular assist devices and total artificial hearts).

For Summer II, there are still about 6 slots left.  The estimated program fee for 2010 is $6,300, which does not include airfare to and from Bonn (about $1,000).  There is financial aid available, and students who hold a four-year Honors Programs scholarship are eligible for a $1,000 study abroad stipend.

In terms of prerequisites, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and 55 hours of academic coursework completed, both as of December 2009.  Students from a wide array of majors are eligible for the program, although typical majors include BIMS, BIOL, BMEN, and ANSC. Students who are unsure whether their major qualifies for the program should contact Dr. Jeremy Wasser (jwasser@cvm.tamu.edu).

Further program information is available on the Study Abroad Program Office (SAPO) website: http://studioabroad.tamu.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=10169&Type=O&sType=O

Further questions about the program should be directed to Dr. Jeremy Wasser at jwasser@cvm.tamu.edu.

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Phi Kappa Phi Holds Blitz Week on Texas A&M Campus

Representatives from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi will host Blitz Week on the campus of Texas A&M University with informational sessions, social gatherings and special events from February 22-26, 2010. During

this week, students will have the opportunity to meet with local chapter officers as well as representatives from the Society’s national headquarters. They will be treated to a Resource Expo, Honors Recognition Social, Princeton Review Graduate and Professional School session, free raffles and much more.

Texas A&M University’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1949 and has inducted 11,267 members, including United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify.

Since its founding, more than 1 million members have been initiated. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, NASA Astronaut Wendy Lawrence, writer John Grisham, opera singer Renee Fleming, journalist and broadcaster Deborah Norville and Netscape founder James Barksdale.

The Society has awarded approximately $13 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $800,000 is awarded annually to qualifying members and non-members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad scholarships, member and chapter awards and grants for local and national literacy initiatives. The Society’s mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

For more information on Phi Kappa Phi, please call 1-800-804-9880 or visit http://www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

Astronaut Scholarship: $10,000 for Math, Science, or Engineering

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation annually awards $10,000 scholarships to 19 outstanding students in engineering and natural or applied sciences. Texas A&M may nominate up to two students for this award. Competitive applicants will exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in their field of study, as demonstrated by high academic achievement, significant research experience, and clarity of long-term goals.

Eligibility

  • Students must be nominated by a faculty member
  • Students must be U.S. citizens
  • Nominees must be entering his or her junior or senior year (or be a graduating senior seeking a master’s degree at Texas A&M)
  • Nominees must be engineering or natural or applied science (e.g. astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, computer science) or mathematics students with intentions to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees. Students intending to pursue a practice in professional medicine are not eligible for the scholarship. NB: Students who are pursuing aerospace engineering or who intend to become astronauts are not favored in this competition.

Procedure

Students who wish to apply for this award must be nominated by a faculty member.  An official nomination consists of the Astronaut Scholarship Nomination form (attached) and a letter of endorsement. Nominations and completed applications must be submitted by March 10, 2010.

To be considered for University nomination, a student must submit the following materials to the Honors Programs office:

  • A completed Faculty Nomination form accompanied by a letter of recommendation providing “examples of the [student’s] involvement and commitment to sciences beyond the formal classroom, as shown on the transcript, [recognizing that] creativity is an important attribute” in selecting Astronaut Scholars.
  • An additional letter of recommendation
  • Nominations and letters of Recommendation should be sent directly to the Honors Programs office, MS 4233, TAMU, College Station TX 77843
  • A short (i.e. one-page) statement that discusses the applicant’s interests, activities, and goals.
  • A one- or two-page resume
  • An official transcript of all colleges and universities attended (as a degree-seeking student)
  • A completed “Financial Summary Form”
The Faculty Nomination form and the Financial Summary Form may be obtained via the National Scholarships Website: http://honors.tamu.edu/advising/NationalScholarships_programlistings.shtml#ASF.

Original hard copies of the application materials should be submitted to the Honors Programs office, c/o Astronaut Scholarship Committee, MS 4233 or delivered in person to Henderson Hall.  Alternately, faculty may submit .pdfs of the materials to Kyle Mox at kemox@tamu.edu.  Students may not submit their application materials via email.

The University may nominate two students for this award; University nominees will be selected by a faculty committee. The final deadline for submission is April 1. Scholars will be announced in June.

Nomination Rationale

Students must be nominated for this award by a faculty member who knows the student well enough to identify a special drive or talent that foreshadows a creative career leading to advancement of scientific knowledge and technology. The selection committee of the Astronaut Scholarship makes their selections primarily on the basis of merit. The committee seeks students who are highly motivated, focused in their scientific objectives, and possessed of intellectual daring.  The campus committee will select the University’s nominees based on the following criteria:

  • High Academic Achievement: A GPA above 3.8 and evidence of “intellectual intensity” as shown by a demanding curriculum and accomplishments outside the classroom. Selection committees also look for indicators that the student will make significant future contributions in his or her chosen field.
  • Commitment to a career in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering. Internships, research, and related employment strengthen a student’s application. Students should also have shown involvement in math, science, or engineering student or professional organizations. Activities not related to math, science, or engineering bear little weight, however.  Competitive applicants clearly demonstrate initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.
  • Letters of recommendation: Evaluations should come from faculty members who can discuss your potential for a career in math, science, or engineering. At least one of these must be in the applicant’s field of study. Applicants who have done research must obtain a letter from the individual who supervised his or her work.
Please address further questions to Kyle Mox: kemox@tamu.edu.

New Service Project Seeks to “Tag” the MSC

MSC Graffiti, a new student-run service project, is seeking submissions of unique concepts for original artwork to beautify the area surrounding the MSC construction site.

MSC Graffitti is a collaborative project of The Professional Association for Design (AIGA), the College of Architecture, and Students Serve*. Begun with the goal of beautifying construction on campus and allowing the closure of the Memorial Student Center to be seen in a more optimistic light, MSC Graffitti will provide Texas A&M University students the opportunity to paint unique pieces of art onto tarps to be hung on the construction fences surrounding the MSC. The artwork will be displayed throughout the semester and then auctioned off to raise money for a local group supporting the arts. Students who wish to submit proposals should keep in mind that the final work should appeal to a majority of people (as in no iconography).

If you’d like to paint:

  • Submit a concept sketch (no larger than 8.5 x 11in) of what you plan to paint and submit it by Monday, February 15, 2010 at 5pm by either emailing it to MSC.Graffiti@gmail.com or dropping it by ARCC 108. Make sure to include your Name, Classification, Major, Email Address, and Phone Number with your submission. Note: this is not an advertisement. If you are working with an organization, your work will not be chosen if it is determined to be considered as such.
  • You will be notified by Thursday, February 18, 2010 if you were selected to paint and asked to sign up for a painting time.
  • All painting materials will be provided. The paintings will range in size depending on the number of interested students. We should be able to inform you of your plot size before we paint but plan on being flexible.
  • Painting days will be Saturday, February 20, 2010 from 4 to 10pm and Sunday, February 21, 2010 from 9am until 6pm. Due to the nature of the tarps, certain people will be asked to paint at certain times so we don’t have people colliding into one another. If there is a conflict with these times, alternative arrangements can be made. You will be given all of the details upon your selection.
  • The tarps will be hung the following Tuesday or Wednesday, February 23 or 24, 2010. You will be notified as to what time so you can come and see all your hard work pay off!
  • Check out the blog at http://mscgraffiti.blogspot.com/

    Any questions, comments, or concerns should be addressed to Raechel Schneider at MSC.Graffiti@gmail.com.

    *Students Serve is a a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC that gives money to college students so they can make a difference in the community. Without their help this project would not be possible. If you’d like to make a donation or find out more information about Students Serve please go to http://www.studentsserve.org/

Aggie Engineer Mark Deimund ’10 to Interview for Gates-Cambridge Scholarship

Chemical Engineering major Mark Deimund ’10 will travel to Annapolis, Maryland, on February 5 to interview for the prestigious Gates-Cambridge Scholarship.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship program enables outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge.

Deimund has already been accepted by Cambridge University and Churchill College. If awarded the Gates-Cambridge scholarship, he will study Advanced Chemical Engineering. Deimund is the president of the Texas A&M chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and his past research, under the supervision of Dr. Mark Holtzapple, has made important contributions to the development of feasible alternative fuels derived from biomass. A process that he developed for improving enzyme digestibility is currently under review for a patent. He has also held two summer internships at Celanese Chemicals, working in an R&D laboratory and as a process improvement engineer. He is currently conducting research on liver cells under Dr. Juergen Hahn. Deimund was also nominated by Texas A&M for the Marshall Scholarship and the Churchill Scholarship.

Competition for admission to the University of Cambridge and for Gates Cambridge Scholarships is intense. Typically, the University receives approximately 9,000 graduate applications from non-British applicants. Departments in Cambridge rank the very best students who have applied to them for admission for Gates Cambridge Scholarships.  The Trust then uses these Departmental rank-ordered lists, and takes into account other non-academic criteria such as leadership potential and a commitment to improving the lives of others, to produce a shortlist of candidates to be interviewed.  In total, 250-300 international candidates are interviewed for about 100 scholarships each year. In 2008, 56 of the available 114 Gates-Cambridge Scholarships were awarded to US students.

Scholarships are awarded on the basis of a person’s intellectual ability, leadership capacity, and desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society throughout the world by providing service to their communities and applying their talents and knowledge to improve the lives of others. The Scholarship covers the full cost of attendance at Cambridge, including travel and a monthly stipend.

The University of Cambridge has been ranked in the top three research universities worldwide for a number of years and has been a center of learning since the early thirteenth-century. Building on a distinguished history of academic achievement over nearly eight hundred years, it is currently engaged in a wide range of teaching and research in most major disciplines. The award of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship provides excellent opportunities for personal intellectual development, living and working alongside other similarly outstanding students from the UK and from many other countries.

For further information on the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship program and other prestigious scholarships, contact Mr. Kyle Mox, National Scholarships coordinator – kemox@tamu.edu or (979) 845-1957.

Honors Priority Registration

Honors Priority Registration is a privilege afforded students who are pursuing one or more honors transcript distinctions. This privilege is intended to assist students in scheduling the rest of their courses around the relatively limited honors course offerings.

With the change to registration in COMPASS last semester, the process for assigning Honors Early Registration (now Honors Priority Registration – HPR) has changed. Whereas in the past students who were eligible were automatically assigned an honors start time, it is now necessary for eligible students to request an honors start time at https://honors.tamu.edu/HER/default.aspx

Students are eligible for HPR if they are 1) honors eligible AND 2) meet the participation requirement. The participation requirement is satisfied if the student is currently enrolled in an honors course OR if the student is an Honors Candidate.

An Honors Candidate who has requested HPR will be granted an honors start time. Students who are not yet Honors Candidates must also complete an advising contact to ensure that they have a good understanding of the requirements for completing an honors transcript distinction.

Students may request one-on-one advising by contacting the Honors Programs office at 979-845-1957 or by attending one of the scheduled group advising sessions listed below.

Tuesday, January 26 – 11:00 AM – Henderson 103

Wednesday, February 3 – 9:00 AM – Rudder Tower 301

Thursday, February 11 – 2:15 PM – Rudder Tower 301

Monday, February 15 – 3:00 PM – Rudder Tower 301

Tuesday, February 23 – 2:15 PM- Rudder Tower 301

Friday, March 5 – 9:00 AM – Rudder Tower 301

Wednesday, March 10 – 3:00 PM – Rudder Tower 301

Friday, March 12 – 11:15 AM – Rudder Tower 601

Monday, March 22 – 9:00 AM – Rudder Tower 601

Texas A&M Again Ranks in Top 10 for National Merit Scholars


2009 National Merit Scholars

Originally uploaded by Honors@TAMU

Texas A&M University ranks among the country’s top 10 institutions in enrollment of new National Merit Scholars, according to tabulations compiled from the newly released annual report of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Of these high-achieving students, 189 are members of the current freshman class.

The 27-student gain of National Merit Scholars in Texas A&M’s 2009 freshman class was the largest for any of the top 10 universities when compared to figures for the previous year. This analysis was conducted by the Honors Programs office at the university. Texas A&M placed 13th with 162 scholars in last year’s ranking.

“This is great news — and extremely gratifying coming right after the announcement last week that Texas A&M is included among the nation’s top 10 public universities in a ‘best value’ assessment by The Princeton Review and USA Today,” noted Texas A&M Interim President R. Bowen Loftin, who added “this is a great way to start off the new year.”

Honors Program Executive Director Edward Funkhouser concurred: “The increased number of new scholars is an affirmation of the enriching college experience offered here at Texas A&M and which we in our offices are pleased to coordinate. We are able to tell the Texas A&M story to many high-achieving students in Texas and across the United States, and many of them, in turn, strive to be part of that experience.”

Overall, the Texas A&M student body includes more than 550 National Merit Scholars, Funkhouser noted.

The new National Merit Scholar list is led, as has been the case for many years, by Harvard, with 266 scholars. Northwestern University placed second (246), followed by the University of Texas at Austin (245), Yale (234), University of Southern California (229), Washington University in St. Louis (223), University of Chicago (214), Princeton (196) and the University of Oklahoma (196).