GSC Hosts SEAD IV Students for Dinner
The Summer Enrichment At Dartmouth (SEAD) program began as a result of collaboration between the William Jewett Tucker Foundation and the Department of Education at Dartmouth College. Since its first summer in 2001, SEAD has attracted high school students from low-income families and under-resourced schools to Dartmouth’s campus for a two-week program where the students engage in workshops and activities that focus on empowering them with skills needed to succeed in high school and college settings.
This year, for the first time, graduate students in Arts and Sciences were involved with the SEAD program. On Thursday, July 11, the Graduate Student Council (GSC), led by the newly-elected graduate student life chair, hosted a pizza dinner for the SEAD IV Scholars—students who have graduated high school and will begin college this fall. In addition to getting together over a meal, the GSC organized a special graduate student panel in which each speaker discussed a trait that has helped him or her do well in college and graduate school. In discussing tangible skills vital to academic success, the graduate student panel embraced the opportunity to share the wisdom and insight of their life experiences. They helped alleviate common concerns and anxieties about the first year of college for SEAD IV Scholars by making the road that lies ahead less daunting. The graduate students on the panel included:
- Moises Chavez, PhD candidate in molecular and cellular biology
- Rich Lopez, PhD candidate in psychological and brain sciences and the 2012-13 Berthold Fellow at the Tucker Foundation
- Anna Prescott, PhD candidate in psychological and brain sciences
- Marie Onakomaiya, PhD candidate in the department of physiology and neurobiology in the Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine and co-chair of the Graduate Relief Team
- Desmond Webster, MA candidate in liberal studies with a creative writing concentration and president of the Dartmouth Graduate Veterans Association
SEAD IV Scholar Bobbi Bowsman from Fairmont High School in West Virginia surprised everyone by expressing a desire to give the closing remarks. On behalf of her fellow SEAD students, she thanked the Graduate Student Council and the graduate student community of Arts and Sciences at large, and then broke out into the traditional “SEAD Thank You Song” as the other SEAD IV Scholars in attendance joined in.
Karen Afre (Dartmouth ’12), assistant student director of the SEAD program, reflected, “It was amazing to see the SEAD IV Scholars asking questions about higher education beyond the undergraduate years. I loved that they felt so comfortable talking with the graduate students at the dinner tables. It cemented how important education is in their minds, and I know that our Scholars will look back at this dinner and remember the advice given by each graduate student on the panel.”
Hopefully, the graduate student community at Dartmouth College, led by the Graduate Student Council, will make this interaction with SEAD Scholars an annual tradition that gets stronger in the years to come.
by Meg Menon