Samford University has hosted several academic, career-oriented learning opportunities this summer. The wide variety of programs and experiences benefit high school students who are interested in different professions and experiences.
M.D. Calling and J.D. Calling are Howard College of Arts and Sciences summer programs for high school juniors and seniors that focus on what it means to be called into health, medical or law professions.
“Students benefit from speaking face to face with preprofessional Samford students, current medical and law students, preprofessional advisers, and practicing physicians and attorneys,” said Assistant Dean Dana Basinger.
Forty students participated in M.D. Calling, a four-day residential workshop that included premed advising, expert panels, networking and a tour of the Children’s Hospital.
“I was scared to take the MCAT and go through med school because that sounds really scary, but talking to the physicians and med students at this camp has shown me that it is possible, and if you try your hardest, you can do it,” said Sarah Speer, a 16-year-old M.D. Calling student from Huntsville, Alabama.
Twenty-two students considering law career participated in J.D. Calling, also a four-day residential workshop, which included discussion panels, advising, teamwork activities, a mock trial and a tour of a courthouse.
“It gives me an insight on something that I’m already passionate about. It’s like a head start into college,” said J.D. Calling student Mattie Whitemore from Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
Eighteen students attended the Minority Youth Science Academy (MYSA) and participated in activities that included creek exploration, introduction to “fur, feathers and scales,” astronomy, rocket building and various networking events. The three-day residential program included college preparation and mentoring for outstanding minority high school students who aspire to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
“MYSA shows that Samford cares about increasing diversity on campus,” said Samford senior biology major and MYSA counselor Anna Felts. “It is also a window to what the students are going to be doing for the next few years.”
The Samford Summer Debate Institute had 45 students participating in the two-week workshop. Students with all skill levels learned 21st-century debating skills from a national caliber staff and participated in 15 or more critiqued practice debates, according to Ryan Galloway, director of Samford’s debate program.
“I came here my first year and I really enjoyed it, so I came back for two more years,” said Caroline Bond, 17-year-old debate student from Warner Robins, Georgia. “I learn consistently how other people debate, and that helps me.”
The camp was an opportunity for high school students and college freshmen to learn about pharmacy careers by participating in compounding and hands-on demonstrations in a pharmacy science lab, and tour local health-care facilities and pharmacies.
“This has let me see different specialties and different opportunities in pharmacy, and how it’s not just being behind the counter and counting pills; it’s so much more than that. It has helped me make a decision that this is something that I really want to do,” said Katie Johnson, a 17-year-old camper from Hartselle, Alabama.
The Micah Fellows Program will begin at Samford in fall of 2016. The Micah 6:8 Summer Institute took place with 15 students from all over the country getting a taste of what it will be like to be in the Micah Fellows program at Samford. The institute was a weeklong combination of history and philosophy studies, professional speakers, a tour of the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum, and various community service projects.
“Through our experiences with both the Micah 6:8 Summer Institute and the Micah Fellows program, we are looking forward to building and strengthening new relationships with service organizations in the Birmingham community while thinking about what it means to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God,” said Caroline Williams Janeway, assistant director of University Fellows.
Erin Bognar and Rachel Williams are journalism and mass communication majors and news and feature writers in the Division of Marketing and Communication.