Wichita high school students learn more about college, science through Newman University Hispanic Scholar Program

Dec 10, 2013

Nineteen Wichita area high school students got a taste of college life – and two hours of college credit – by successfully completing the 2013 Newman University Hispanic Scholar Program. The students, who performed individualized projects in the biological, health or physical sciences, were selected for the program as part of an ongoing effort by Newman to keep Hispanic students in high school and encourage them to pursue higher education. The students were recognized at a Dec. 4 banquet and awards ceremony on the Newman campus.

Wichita area high school students who successfully completed the 2013 Newman University Hispanic Scholar Program are, l-r, front row: Andrea Gomez; Linda Hernandez; Vanessa Valenzuela; Itssel Berumen; Yezenia Acosta; middle row: Vianey Gonzalez; Luis Fernandez; Emilio Escamilla Valdivia; Meliza Ortiz; Keila Amaya; Nohely Villa; Lilia Marquez; back row: Fernando Retana; Cristina Valencia-Fierro; Zitlali Bravo; Jesus Alvarez; Denisse Reyes, Michael Starrett. Not pictured: Jovana Mendoza.

The Hispanic Scholar Program was created in 2001 to address concerns about the high dropout rate among Hispanic high school students. The program is offered to Wichita and Sedgwick County Hispanic high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, and is designed to strengthen students’ pre-college science, mathematics, and English skills by making learning a fun and familiar experience.

Newman University waives the tuition of $1,514 for each student and provides facilities and instructional materials. In addition to earning two hours of college credit, students receive a certificate of completion.

The program uses an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning that integrates different academic disciplines. Each student selects a research topic, then conducts a literature search, performs laboratory and field experiments, collects data, analyzes results, draws conclusions and writes a paper in a scientific format. Students are encouraged to present their papers at the annual Kansas Junior Academy of Science meeting.

For more information on the program, contact Surendra Singh, Ph.D., professor of biology at Newman University and Hispanic Scholar Program founder and director, at 316-943-4351, ext. 2117.

Students who participated in the 2013 program are listed below by high school:

Bishop Carroll Catholic High School
Luis Fernandez

Wichita North High School
Yezenia Acosta
Jesus Alvarez
Keila Amaya
Itssel Berumen
Zitlali Bravo
Linda Hernandez
Lilia Marquez
Jovana Mendoza
Meliza Ortiz
Fernando Retana
Emilio Escamilla Valdivia
Cristina Valencia-Fierro
Vanessa Valenzuela
Nohely Villa

Wichita South High School
Andrea Gomez
Vianey Gonzalez
Denisse Reyes
Michael Starrett