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L.E.A.R.N.'s Focus is on Academic Achievement Through Mentoring & Community Building!


Academic:

L.E.A.R.N.™ students have the opportunity to take part in a truly unique academic experience. In both the F-L.E.A.R.N. and T-L.E.A.R.N. cohorts, students participate in research apprenticeships, which engage students in hands-on, inquiry-based learning. The research opportunities are usually reserved for upper-level and graduate level students, and will try to match students in the scientific areas of study that interest them. L.E.A.R.N.™ students have the luxury to gain skills, knowledge, and expertise early on in their academic careers. These opportunities offer students the chance to build a pathway for future careers and post-graduate work. During their year in L.E.A.R.N. students will take at least two classes together-Introduction to Research (Part I) and Undergraduate Research in the Discipline (Part II). Part I in the fall semester will engage students in developing knowledge and skills in participating in professional research. L.E.A.R.N.™ students will use their time in their research apprenticeship to work on creating research proposals, and a corresponding research poster presentation. The two-part course in L.E.A.R.N. is designed to support and promote academic achievement and success in students, as well as emphasize the role that participatory research plays in their education and future careers.

2017 LEARN Students

2017-2018 LEARN

2016 Poster Winner

2016-2017 Poster Winner Cayley Johnson (left) with Student Research Mentor, Elizabeth Bollman

Mentoring:

The L.E.A.R.N.™ community is designed to be an inclusive and supported community for the diverse learners participating in the program. A pillar of that design is to establish an integrated framework of mentors for the L.E.A.R.N.™ students. Our F-L.E.A.R.N. students will have a Residence Hall Advisor who is a STEM major, two dedicated STEM Peer Mentors, and a mentor apprentice team made up of an upper-level research student and a faculty researcher. Our T-L.E.A.R.N. students will have two dedicated Peer Mentors, knowledgeable about transfer transitions, and a mentor apprentice team made up of an upper-level research student and faculty researcher. In addition to the mentor staff, the L.E.A.R.N.™ program faculty and staff will be highly involved to support, monitor, and offer resources for success. The goal is for L.E.A.R.N.™ students to have several mentors and program specialists to assist with decisions and provide guidance throughout the first year, and beyond.

Are you a student-researcher looking to mentor in STEM?

Consider the L.E.A.R.N. Program! Get experience and research supply funding by mentoring first-year in college and transfer students through an undergraduate research experience.  Add to your resume and share your expertise to a fellow Catamount! 

Meet Our Mentors!

Hagen Boggs, L.E.A.R.N. Resident Advisor

Hagen

 

Hometown
Denver, North Carolina
 
Major/Minor
Biology with a concentration in cell/molecular biology
 
Research Interests, Projects, and/or Presentations
My research interests are in genetics, genomics, and neurology.
 
Faculty Mentor
Dr. Indi Bose
 
Career Interests
Obtain a MD/PHd in the filed of Neurology

Ellie Armstrong, LC Peer Mentor

Ellie

Hometown
Charlotte, North Carolina

Major/Minor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology/Anthropology
 
Research Interests, Projects, and/or Presentations
Fucundity in Mosquitoes
 
Faculty Mentor
Dr. Brian Byrd
 
Career Interests
Go to Graduate School.
I am looking at Brown and Superfund site restoration.
 
 
 

Jesse Sarver, LLC Peer Mentor

Jesse

 
 
Hometown
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
 
Major/Minor
Electrical Engineering/Mathematics
 
Research Interests, Projects, and/or Presentations
 
Swarm robotics with Crazyflie 2.0 drones 
 
Faculty Mentor
Dr. Yanjun Yan

Career Interests
Robotics and renewable energy
 

JOnathan Mashburn, LC Peer Mentor

Alex

Hometown
Cullowhee, North Carolina
 
Major/Minor
Electrical Engineering with Mathematics Minor
 
Research Interests, Projects, and/or Presentations
Electrical power usage and creating growth models to predict power usage
Machine Learning
 
Faculty Mentor
Dr. Andrew Penland
 
Career Interests
To work for an engineering firm and to be able to obtain my engineering license.

Dakota Little, LLC peer mentor

Dakota

Hometown
Jefferson, North Carolina

Major/Minor
Environmental Science/Biology

Research Interests, Projects, and/or Presentations
Water Hydrology in Relation to Headwater Catchments and Runoff Generation
 
Faculty Mentor
Dr. JP Gannon

Career Interests
Attend law school for environmental law, and run for public office. 
 

 

Community:

L.E.A.R.N.™ students work to build a strong community where everybody knows and can support each other. Our program encourages collaboration and connection. To promote this sense of community the program staff will design programs to offer students opportunity to get to know one another. Programs are facilitated by our peer mentors and resident advisor, and include activities like hiking, attending camus events, workshops, and potlucks (there's nothing quite like a meal to bring everyone together). In addition to what the L.E.A.R.N.™ program leaders will host, we encourage our L.E.A.R.N.™ students to get involved through other campus activities. For participating students, they receive a weekly newsletter and program calendar so they can get the most out of the university experience.

2017-2018 LEARN Students

LEARN Students at a WCU football game.

2017 Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

LEARN Studens making liquid nitrogen ice cream.

LEARN at Highlands

LEARN Students visiting Highlands Biological Station



L.E.A.R.N.™ Program Leaders:

Dr. William R. Kwochka
Associate Professor
Director of L.E.A.R.N.™
Department of Chemistry and Physics
kwochka@wcu.edu

Mrs. Kloo C. Hansen, M.A.
L.E.A.R.N.™ Coordinator
University Program Specialist
Office of the Provost
kchansen@wcu.edu

Mr. Ken Pfaff, MA.Ed.
L.E.A.R.N.™ Advisor
Academic Advisor
Western Carolina University
kepfaff@wcu.edu


NSF

L.E.A.R.N. is sponsored by the National Science Foundation



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