Generous donors help SAU students learn outside of the classroom

Thanks to donations from SAU’s alumni and friends, SAU students have had their college experiences enriched with travel opportunities across the globe over the past three years, including internships and academic trips to Costa Rica, Greece, New Zealand, Indianapolis, and Washington D.C.

Such travel offers students a chance to apply what they learn in the classroom through internships, to present their research at conferences, and to pit their work against that of their peers from across the region and beyond.

SAU Physics students have expressed their gratitude for the travel scholarships by bringing home first-place honors two years in a row from the Idea Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) conferences in Fayetteville. In 2013, Barbara Rutter won first place in the Physics category with her research project. She said the trip overall was right in line with what she wants to do as a nuclear engineer when she enters the workforce. At 2014’s INBRE competition, SAU’s Joshua Grant was up against a record number of presenters, but was still able to repeat for SAU and bring home first-place honors in Physics.

“My first place finish came with a cash reward of $300, which has been used to pay application fees for graduate school applications. I also managed to get an interview with the Director of the Microelectronics and Photonics program at the University of Arkansas, to which I am applying for graduate school,” said Grant.

“None of these opportunities would have been possible without the donations.”

Other student experiences made possible through the donations include the following:
• SAU College of Business professor Dr. Gerald Plumlee and two students learned about business practices in Costa Rica with tours of several of the country’s businesses during a weeklong trip there in 2014.
• Dr. Svetlana Paulson escorted a group of students on an educational trip to Greece in the summer of 2014. Students earned history credits and toured famous destinations including the Parthenon, Zeus’ Temple, Poseidon’s Temple, Delphi, and Mycenae.
• Senior SAU Pre-health student Michelle Beavers was given the opportunity to complete a molecular biology internship in New Zealand in 2014. She researched on methylation of DNA and RNA adipose tissue before and after by-pass surgery.
• Members of SAU’s percussion ensemble attended and competed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis. Their performances against top-ranked schools from across the U.S. showed the strength of SAU’s percussion talent.
• Freshman standout Taylor McNeel was able to accept an internship with a U.S. congressman over the summer in Washington, D.C. She had many responsibilities, and was asked to research a variety of issues and attend sub-committee meetings.

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