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Monday, August 31, 2009

UNCP’s HCOP graduates a class of eight

The Summer Science Enrichment Program of UNC Pembroke’s Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) graduated a class of eight high school students at a luncheon on July 22.

From left: Dakota Jacobs, Anna Goings, Datoya Brown, Dalton Brooks, Olivia Bullard, Jessica Oxendine and Jessica Smiling (Not in picture Kayla Jacobs)

From left: Dakota Jacobs, Anna Goings, Datoya Brown, Dalton Brooks, Olivia Bullard, Jessica Oxendine and Jessica Smiling (Not in picture Kayla Jacobs)

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The students finished a three-week program designed for rising high school seniors and college freshmen who wish to pursue careers in medical or health-related professions.

Dr. Bobbie Stanley, a Cary, N.C., dentist and 1988 UNCP graduate, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon.

Dr. Stanley graduated from Magnolia High School in rural Robeson County. She attended college at North Carolina State University until the federal government discontinued her scholarship program, she said.

“It turned out that coming home and going to UNCP was the best thing that could have happened to me,” Dr. Stanley said. “UNCP has a great Biology Department and small classes.”

The dentist offered tips on being successful:

  • “If you find your passion in life, then financial rewards will find you.
  • “Write down goals for yourself that are measurable and dated.  Review them often and rewrite them if needed.
  • “Remember where you came from. Keep God and family first.”

With instruction from veteran UNCP science faculty members like Dr. Siva Mandjiny in chemistry, Dr. Velinda Woriax in biology and Dr. Bill Brandon in physics, Dalton Brooks said he learned a lot.

Keynote speaker Dr. Bobbie Stanley, left, and HCOP Director Sheila Brayboy

Keynote speaker Dr. Bobbie Stanley, left, and HCOP Director Sheila Brayboy

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“It was hands-on science, which I really liked,” said Brooks, who will attend UNC-Chapel Hill with an eye on dental school. “I learned some new things and got refreshed on others.”

“We try to push them into experiences in science that they may not receive until later in college,” said Sheila Brayboy, HCOP director. “A lot of training is compressed into a short time.”

The students also got instruction in writing. Datoya Brown, who will attend Fayetteville State University in the fall, said she wrote six papers and made a PowerPoint presentation.

“It was good experience because they taught us what college professors want,” Brown said. “I’m not nervous about college; my sister goes to UNCP.”

UNCP composition instructor Greg Sampson taught the class. He said students who excel in science are often hesitant about writing.

“They came in saying, ‘we’re not going to write anything are we?’” Sampson said, laughing. “I gave them exposure to what college English will be like.”

The luncheon was attended by parents and family members. Dr. Woriax said college students still require nurturing.

“Parents, encourage your college student to come home,” she said. “By being with them, you will know how they are doing.”

Vonda Graham, a school counselor at South Robeson High School, taught the life skills class.

Students in the program included:

  • Dalton Brooks – a Lumberton High School graduate who will attend UNC-Chapel Hill;
  • Datoya Brown – a Fairmont High School graduate who will attend Fayetteville State University;
  • Olivia Bullard – a senior at Purnell Swett High School who plans to attend East Carolina University;
  • Anna Goins –  a senior at Purnell Swett who plans to attend UNCP;
  • Coty Jacobs – a senior at Purnell Swett who plans to attend UNCP;
  • Kyla Jacobs – a senior at the Information Technology High School who plans to attend UNCP;
  • Jessica Oxendine – a senior at Purnell Swett who plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill; and
  • Jessica Smiling – a South Robeson High School graduate who will attend UNCP.

Besides Summer Science Enrichment, other HCOP programs include a primary care job shadowing program and a middle school science program.

For more information about HCOP, please call 910.521.6590 or email hcop@uncp.edu.

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