Governor’s School Students Partner with IALR to Teach Chemistry

Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science and Technology (PGS) students in Susan Propst’s chemistry class recently developed interactive science lessons for 70 third grade students from Park Avenue Elementary School in collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. The elementary school students completed various hands-on activities. The stations were designed and facilitated by PGS students along with assistance from the Institute’s Advanced Learning staff. Park Avenue Elementary School students were exposed to a variety of interactive labs including: making slime, the science of candy, making silly putty, and a MENTOS/soda geyser.

“My students enjoy preparing for this program every year. Our hope is to inspire younger students to enjoy learning about science by showing them how it relates to everyday fun activities,” said Susan Propst.

“We are very thankful to be able to work with the PGS to enhance STEM education for students. Introducing STEM topics early is a great way to spark their interests. The PGS students also enhanced their leadership, mentoring skills by assisting with the activities,” said Dana Silicki, Advanced Learning Coordinator at the Institute.

Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology is housed at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research for Danville and Pittsylvania County students. The program provides a challenging, project-driven, research-based curriculum in a technology-infused environment.

Propst added, “One of the third graders stated this was the best day ever. Seeing their excitement makes all of the hard work and preparation worth it.”

Win Bassett – 2003 Graduate

Win Bassett is a writer and attorney whose essays and interviews have been published in The Atlantic, The Paris Review Daily, The Oxford American, and Guernica. His fiction and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in The Southern Poetry AnthologyImage, PANK, and Still: The Journal. He’s a former assistant district attorney and serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Fiction Committee. Win is the Legal Advisor for Asymptote and The Field Office Agency, Managing Editor of Yale’s Letters journal, and Community Manager for Bull City Press. A recipient of a scholarship to the Virginia Quarterly Review Writers’ Conference, Win is from southwestern Virginia and is a Teaching Fellow at Yale.

Anthony Helms – 2008 Graduate

Anthony Helms attended Longwood University for two years then transferred to Radford University. Anthony is currently a Senior Accounting/Finance major with an Economics minor and is pursuing a career in portfolio and security analysis. Thus far, he has been fortunate in finding internship and future job opportunities. Anthony currently manages around $1 million in the school’s endowment money that is set aside for foundation scholarships. Anthony really enjoys the asset management side of investing and will probably continue as an analyst when he enters the job market. Anthony currently has two offers for jobs in San Francisco, CA and Charlotte, NC when he graduates.

Kristen Jamison – 2007 Graduate

Kristen Jamison graduated from Hampton University with her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in December 2010 and is currently working on her MBA with a concentration in Accounting and will graduate in May 2012. Kristen is involved in Alpha Kappa Mu Honour Society. She was a Resident Assistant during her undergraduate years and has been a student leader within her program for the past 3½ years. Kristen has had two internships with Perdue Farms in Salisbury, MD.

Marilyn Coates – 2004 Graduate

Marilyn Coates is a 2004 graduate from Piedmont Governor’s School and George Washington High School. She currently resides in Charlottesville, VA, where she is the Suites and Events Coordinator for the University of Virginia’s Athletic Foundation. There she coordinates events for 25 varsity sports and assists with administration of the suites for football at Scott Stadium, basketball at the John Paul Jones Arena and baseball at Davenport Field.

She earned a B.S. in Public Relations and Sports Communication from James Madison University in 2008. After graduation, she spent two and a half years working as an event planner for the Office of the Dean of Students at U.Va. and received a certificate in Meeting and Event Planning from the U.Va. in 2009. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at U.Va. in Student Affairs and Higher Education Administration.

Brent Collins – 2005 Graduate

Brent Collins attended North Carolina State University from 2005 to 2008. Due to the college credits Brent received while at the Governor’s School, he was able to graduate in three years with a BS in Business Administration (Finance and Marketing concentrations). Brent obtained his MBA from Campbell University in 2010. While completing his MBA, Brent worked at Performance Impact, Inc. in Raleigh, NC for about a year as a sales coordinator. Upon completion of his MBA, Brent was hired by Wells Fargo Wealth Management Portfolio Services Group as an Investment Manager. His investments portfolio consists of around $300 million of which he manages for Charitable Organizations and Trust accounts on the East Coast. Brent is also on the analyst team for all of Wealth Management researching International REITS. Brent is currently pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Seth Lang – 2010 Graduate

Since graduating from the Piedmont Governor’s School in 2010, Seth Lang has been attending Iowa State University and majoring in Mechanical Engineering. This past summer, Seth held an engineering internship with Schott Pharmaceutical Packaging in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. This current school year, he has been working with Hashemi Laboratories studying microfluidics as an undergraduate researcher. Seth is also an active member of the ISU Fencing team and has maintained a 3.96 GPA. He currently plans to graduate in December of 2013.

Michael Foust – 2009 Graduate

Michael Foust is a 2009 graduate of PGSMST and Dan River High School. He is currently a junior pursuing a dual degree in Mathematics and Statistics at Virginia Tech. Michael has narrowed his potential career paths down to two. He either plans to continue his eduacation in graduate school to become a professor of statistics or pursue a career as an actuary in the corporate world.

Gideon Martin – 2008 Graduate

Gideon Martin is attending Virginia Tech where he is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Automotive Engineering. Gideon currently has a 3.35 cumulative GPA with a 3.52 in-major GPA. He will graduate with his degree in May 2012. Gideon is currently on the Virginia Tech Baja Team and the Club Golf Team.

Abby Whitt – 2005 Graduate

Abby Whitt is currently in her fourth year of pharmacy school at Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Abby will graduate in May 2012 with her Doctorate in Pharmacy and Masters of Business Administration. She is member of Phi Delta Chi Professional Pharmacy Fraternity – Beta Kappa Chapter.

Evelyn Clark – 2011 Graduate

Evelyn Clark is currently attending Roanoke College as a Beard Scholar. She is in the Honors Program and planning to double major with International Relations and French, with a minor in Music. With the hopes of attending law school, she is also doing undergraduate research with Dr. Peppers. She was recently elected Treasurer of the College Democrats and is interning for Senator Edwards’ campaign office in Roanoke. So far, she is loving everything about Roanoke College and seizing every opportunity available!

David Warren – 2005 Graduate

David Warren graduated from James Madison University in 2009 with a Business Management degree (Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial concentration) and an Economics minor. David is currently the Director of Finance for GRAiNEY Pictures, Inc., in Marina del Ray, California. In his position, David oversees this independent production company’s financial division. He spearheads the company’s private equity outreach, brand integration, as well as corporate expansion. David is responsible for creating business plans, project valuations, and assisting in the structuring of all investment vehicles and corporate sponsorship contracts. David also consults for multiple start-up independent productions that are not exclusively owned by GRAiNEY Pictures. Project budgets have varied between $500,000 and $10,500,000 spanning the branded media space, web content distribution, feature films, and feature documentaries. In his position, David is continuously working with multiple companies including IMAX, Nike, ESPN, Subway, Shick, and Intemark, finalizing brand integration agreements and branded media campaigns.

According to David, “I honestly contribute a lot of my entrepreneurial spirit to the fact I was able to operate so independently from my peers at Gov School. I was able to think outside the box and our research projects gave us the ability to completely encompass ourselves in whatever world we chose for an entire year. Gov School, for me at least, was a fast track towards unconventional wisdom through college and now into the work force.”

Jennifer Clifton – 2004 Graduate

After graduating from PGSMST, Jennifer Clifton attended the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce in May 2008 and a Master’s Degree in Accounting in December 2008. Jennifer completed the CPA exam during 2008 and received an Elijah Watt Sells award for being one of the top ten scorers in the nation. This past summer, Jennifer took a sabbatical from her job as a Senior Audit Associate at KPMG to spend 70 days bicycling and building houses from North Carolina to San Diego with Bike and Build to raise awareness for affordable housing. Now she’s back at home in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband and new foster dog.

Tonyette White – 2009 Graduate

Tonyette White is currently completing her requirements for a Bachelor’s Degrees in Sociology and Psychology at the University of Virginia. Within the College of Arts and Sciences, Tonyette is a member of the Echols Scholars Program.

Tonyette is involved in various organizations at UVA. She is an Office of African American Affairs Peer Advisor and she dances for University Dance Club. Her involvement in the Young Women’s Leaders Program truly defines her future career pursuits. In YWLP, Tonyette mentored a young middle school girl in the city of Charlottesville. As a Big Sister, she was able to help a young lady improve academically, socially, and mentally. Within the Psychology department, Tonyette works as a research assistant. Next semester, Tonyette hopes she will be researching within YWLP. Through the Jefferson Public Citizen’s project, Tonyette aspires to work with other Big Sisters to research important issues that adolescent girls face.

Tonyette White has various career endeavors she wants to pursue after college. Tonyette wants to receive her Master’s degree in Psychology. She plans to research family formations and how the family can be strengthened to benefit children and on traveling to study different culture’s family formations. Afterward, Tonyette would like to pursue her career either as a child psychologist or a family therapist.

Tyler Jarrett – 2010 Graduate

Tyler Jarrett is currently a student at Christopher Newport University. Tyler is majoring in Organismal Biology, while seeking a minor in Anthropology. At Christopher Newport University, Tyler is a founding father of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity where he is the Committee Chair of Fundraising and Philanthropy. Tyler is also am a member of the most prestigious mixed A Capella groups on campus, University Sounds, along with being in the CNU Jazz Ensemble Big Band.

Tyler Motley – 2009 Graduate

Tyler Motley is currently a junior at Virginia Tech. Tyler’s passion is chemistry even after studying it for several years now. Tyler works in the Hanson Research Group making novel carbon materials. When he is not studying or working, Tyler is spending time with friends and participating in various activities such as hiking and camping. After Tyler finishes his undergraduate work, he plans on continuing his education and earning a Ph.D. in chemistry. Tyler’s ultimate aspiration would be to conduct research at a university while sharing his passion with students.

Schuyler Adams – 2008 Graduate

Schuyler Adams is from Axton, VA, and graduated from Magna Vista High School in 2008. She is currently a senior, health and physical education major at Hampton University in Hampton, VA. Upon graduation in May 2012, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Masters Degree in athletic administration. She hopes to one day become an Athletic Director at a high school or college.