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Katie Holland, a second-year biology student in the Angelo State University Honors Program, has been awarded a 2021 Goldwater Scholarship, which is considered the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

A native of Aledo, Holland is one of just 410 college students from across the U.S., and one of only 22 in Texas, to earn a 2021 Goldwater Scholarship. The scholarship is open to STEM students with an interest in pursuing research careers in those fields. More than 1,250 students were nominated for the scholarship this year, representing 438 colleges and universities.

Awarded by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, the Goldwater Scholarship provides each recipient up to $7,500 a year to cover the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books, and room and board for up to four semesters or until graduation. Of equal value is the membership in a community of exceptionally talented emerging scientists, as well as mentorship by past recipients.

Dr. Shirley Eoff Dr. Shirley Eoff“As the university’s national fellowship advisor, it gives me great pleasure to see Katie’s individual success,” said Dr. Shirley Eoff, Honors Program director. “That success is a credit to her intellectual capability and work ethic, but also to the excellent mentoring she has received from ASU faculty, particularly Dr. Loren Ammerman. It’s also very exciting to see Angelo State University’s name alongside some of the most prestigious institutions in the country on the Goldwater Scholars list.”

Since her freshman year at ASU, Holland has been conducting research with Ammerman, a professor of biology. Her current work involves the molecular screening of adenoviruses in Texas bats, and it is funded by an ASU Faculty-Mentored Undergraduate Research Grant and a Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta) Honor Society Research Grant. She was also recently selected for the prestigious and highly competitive 2021 Summer Research Program in Biology and Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Katie Holland Katie HollandPreviously, Holland was selected for the competitive 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Genetics and Genomics at Texas A&M University. While the COVID-19 pandemic prevented completion of the on-site lab rotations, she was able to participate in a modified virtual program that focused on bioinformatics.

Holland has also received an ASU Carr Excellence Scholarship, Honors Program Scholarship and Alvin New Honors Enhancement Scholarship. She serves as a mentor for the Honors Program and a representative in the Tri-Beta biology honor society, and she is active in the Honors Student Association.

Scheduled to graduate in May 2022 after just three years of undergraduate studies, Holland’s goal is to earn a Ph.D. in molecular biology and pursue a career conducting and directing biomedical research at a national research laboratory.

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  • (L-R) ASU President Ronnie Hawkins Jr., ASU Admissions Counselor Hannah Hoelscher, three local students who will attend ASU this fall, and San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter with the ‘I Chose Angelo State Month’ Proclamation

Angelo State University is once again celebrating April as “I Chose Angelo State Month” and is inviting the San Angelo and surrounding communities to join with the Ram Family, past and present, to show and boost pride in Angelo State.

As in past years, the campaign will run the entire month while officially kicking off this morning (April 6) when the San Angelo City Council approved a proclamation designating April as “I Chose Angelo State Month” in the city.

A primary goal of the month-long celebration is to encourage local and area students of all ages to consider making ASU their first choice for their college education.

The public is invited to participate in “I Chose Angelo State Month” by:

  • Wearing ASU blue on Fridays in April
  • Displaying ASU flags and other paraphernalia at homes and businesses
  • Engaging on ASU’s various social media channels
  • Wearing ASU colors to “ASU Day at the Rodeo” on April 10

ASU also has a dedicated website for “I Chose Angelo State Month.” Located at angelo.edu/i-chose-angelo-state, it features alumni spotlights and easy ways to:

  • Connect and engage with ASU on social media
  • Post student, faculty, staff and alumni stories about why they chose ASU
  • Establish a lasting legacy through monetary gifts that benefit ASU students by providing scholarships and/or distinctive programs

Details on ASU’s academic and student life programs, how to apply for admission and ways to give can all be found at angelo.edu.

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Drs. Christine Purkiss and Donna Gee of Angelo State University’s teacher education faculty have been awarded a $32,256 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Texas Workforce Commission to support their 2021 “Camp Code” summer program for local and area middle school students.

The grant funding will be utilized to host three free “Camp Code” camps in June on the ASU campus. Each five-day, non-residential camp is open to students who will be entering sixth, seventh or eighth grade in the fall of 2021. Participants will learn to build and program robots using the LEGO® EV3 Mindstorms hardware/software platform.

The “Camp Code” camps will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day on the following dates:

  • June 7-11 – Beginner camp
  • June 14-18 – Beginner camp
  • June 21-25 – Intermediate camp

The beginner camps are each open to 24 students and will focus on beginner-level coding and robotics skills.

The intermediate camp is open to 18 students who have prior knowledge of basic coding and robotics skills. It will feature more advanced instruction, as well as real-life problems and challenges like the Space Challenge.

All the camps are free to all participants – and T-shirts and lunches will be provided. Applications for the camps are available at angelo.edu/camp-code.

In addition to coding and robotics instruction, the camps will also feature sessions on team building, information on opportunities to join groups or organizations focused on coding activities, and information on careers in coding, robotics and technology.

This marks the third straight year Purkiss and Gee have been awarded the TWC grant (No. 2921TAN002) to support their coding camp programs. The first camps were conducted during the summer of 2019, but the 2020 camps had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Angelo State University’s chapter of the Alpha Chi national honor society recently inducted 24 new members for the spring 2021 semester during a virtual ceremony.

Alpha Chi is one of the nation’s most prestigious honor societies and is open to students majoring in any academic discipline. To be eligible, students must rank in the top 10 percent of seniors at their college or university, or in the top 7.5 percent of juniors.

ASU’s spring 2021 inductees by hometown and major are:

San Angelo: Hailey Dodson, political science; Taylor Tomlinson, marketing; and Rocky Ybarra, psychology

Abilene: Elisabeth Dantzler, marketing

Bandera: Jazlynn Lewis, animal science

Blanco: Mario Sanchez, criminal justice

Del Rio: Tyler Kennedy, natural resource management

Fort Worth: Alexander Hubbell, mathematics

Houston: Mabel Hartman, teacher education

Kerrville: Weslyn Kirkpatrick, political science; Zachary Hamil, management

Manhattan Beach, Calif.: Shannon Perez, interdisciplinary studies

May: Shannon Dennis, marketing

Stanton: Gabrielle Vanderveen, psychology/criminal justice

Sweetwater: Elli Lehnert, chemistry

Weatherford: Camille Huffman, history

Brussels, Belgium: Andrea Ramic, civil engineering

Hanoi, Vietnam: Manh Ha Vu, psychology

Hidalgo, Mexico: Ana Hernandez Sanchez, international business

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Ha Nguyen Binh, finance; and Thanh Long Le, computer science

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Maleeka Williams, psychology

Yong-in, South Korea: Junu Park, physics/computer science

ASU is located in Alpha Chi Region I, and Dr. Karl Havlak, College of Science and Engineering, is the head faculty advisor for the ASU chapter. Additional faculty advisors are Dr. June Smith for the College of Arts and Humanities, Dr. Satvir Singh for the Norris-Vincent College of Business, Dr. Charlene Bustos for the College of Education, and Paul Osmanski for the Archer College of Health and Human Services. Havlak is also secretary-treasurer for Region I and secretary of the Alpha Chi National Council.

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Angelo State University has introduced a new Provost’s Scholars Program that will allow qualifying faculty members “course release time” to take time off from teaching to conduct research and other scholarly activities.

To qualify for the program, faculty must submit proposals to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research for review by the Provost’s Scholars Review Committee. The committee includes representatives of each of ASU’s academic colleges, the graduate studies dean and the director of sponsored projects. Proposals that make it through the committee review are forwarded to Dr. Don Topliff, provost and vice president for academic affairs, for final approval.

For the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, proposals from eight faculty members have been approved, and those faculty are now designated Provost’s Scholars. The inaugural group of Provost’s Scholars and their projects include:

  • Dr. Loren Ammerman, professor of biology – research on the effects of white-nose syndrome on the Texas bat population
  • Dr. Robert Dowler, professor of biology – preparing publications detailing four years of field research on the endangered plains spotted skunk in East Texas
  • Dr. Manuel Garcia, assistant professor of engineering – research on water distribution systems design and performance
  • Dr. Kevin Garrison, professor of English – research on the issue of deaf advocacy at ASU and in San Angelo
  • Dr. Trey Holik, associate professor of physics – work on the design and manufacture of superconducting magnets for the next generation of particle accelerators
  • Dr. Sarah Lynch, assistant professor of history – continuing preparation of two books for publication, “Medieval Education: An Epitome” and “The Medieval Year”
  • Dr. Aldo Piñón-Villarreal, assistant professor of engineering – preparation of a water resource study for the Santa Elena Canyon Protected Area in the Big Bend Region
  • Dr. Joe Satterfield, professor of geology – geologic mapping in the Santa Elena Canyon Protected Area in the Big Bend Region

Each of the Provost’s Scholars has been granted course release time for the upcoming fall 2021 and/or spring 2022 semester. The courses they would normally teach during those times will be covered by other faculty so that there is no negative impact on students.

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