Listed below are special features of the Cannon Scholars program.
S-STEM living-learning community
Each Scholar will be part of a learning community living together in a STEM-designated residence that intertwines academics, residential life and student services. This community will be supervised by the director of student success, the director of the honors program and the director of residence life. This community will also be assigned a Residence Assistant (RA) trained in inclusive mentoring. The directors and STEM-faculty advisors will ensure that the Cannon Scholars attend class, participate in study groups, take advantage of existing “in-residence” tutoring opportunities and visit faculty during office hours. The STEM-faculty members on the advisory committee will also work with the directors of academic support and residence life, and the coordinators of academic and career advising to sponsor periodic guest lectures and special weekly events designed to further enhance the S-STEM program experience.
In their first semester, the Cannon Scholars will enroll in a weekly one-hour Scientific Process class and will meet as a group with all of the STEM-faculty advisors one hour per week for three weeks out of the month. The Scientific Process class has a syllabus that includes sessions on time management, financial planning, career and graduate school awareness, lab tours and introduction to research opportunities on the campus, applications/workshops for internships and graduate schools and other pertinent issues that come up. The Scholars will also take several common core-curriculum “liberal arts” classes (32 credit hours) together where the skills of inquiry and communication will be emphasized. Some of these courses are writing intensive and some create opportunities where students can work in collaborative groups. In addition to their involvement in the living-learning community, the Cannon Scholars will meet regularly with the STEM program faculty members. Mentors will chart the various successes and concerns of their scholars and report back to the project team.
STEM faculty advisors will support student clubs, national honor societies and invite Cannon Scholars to social events and regularly scheduled activities to help them feel connected with the community of scholars. Students, mentors and other project staff will also meet at the end of each semester to celebrate the accomplishments of the scholars and debrief the semester. A Facebook page for the Cannon Scholars project will be set up with scholars, mentors and other project personnel as “friends.”
Workshops and seminars
In partnership with the NSF-EPSCoR and NIH-INBRE grants, the Cannon Scholar program will bring in both internal and external experts to conduct science seminars and workshops on academic and career success, GRE preparation, opportunities at national labs, as well as financial planning, résumé writing and other life success topics. The S-STEM team will draw on the contacts of these programs to find exciting scientists and mathematicians, as well as good speakers and role models to lead the seminars and workshops.
Involvement in peer-tutoring
After successfully completing their freshman year, Cannon Scholars will be encouraged to work as peer-tutors or as guided study-group leaders. This experience will provide them additional financial support while allowing them to act as academic leaders on the campus and “give back” to younger peers.
In partnership with University of Delaware, Delaware State University, the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB) and the NIH–INBRE and NSF-EPSCoR research programs on campus, the S-STEM program will work to place Scholars in research internships at Wesley or on other nearby campuses. Internship opportunities also exist at local government agencies and industry. While participation in sponsored research will not be a requirement of the program, it will be strongly encouraged. Scholars will have additional undergraduate research opportunities during senior research capstone and Scholars Day projects. Involvement in undergraduate research helps students identify with their discipline and provides a forum for one-on-one mentoring by faculty and other members of the research team. Learn more about undergraduate research opportunities.
Support for travel
Once involved in research, the Scholars will present their research at regional or national conferences, like the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), American Chemical Society (ACS), and Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM). In addition to the scientific and professional growth value of presenting their work, attending such meetings provides students vital networking opportunities and exposure to graduate programs.