Meridian Star


June 5, 2013

Excellence in education: Wednesday, June 5, 2013

MERIDIAN —     • POPLARVILLE – Charmin Edwards of Meridian was presented the Outstanding Student Award at the recent Awards Day program at Pearl River Community College.

    • CHOCTAW – Three outstanding young Tribal members have been selected to participate in an internship to assist with biomedical research at one of the top-ranked schools in the country.

    Choctaw Central High School students Taloa Berg, Nicklaus Shumake and Deon Denson will spend their summer in the 2013 Aspirnaut Summer Research Internship Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Students in the program were selected because of their interest and skill in science and mathematics, high academic achievement and letters of recommendation.

    Berg, Shumake, and Denson will work side by side with a research team to study diseases such as autoimmune disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. They will be involved in conducting experiments, collecting data and analyzing results. At the conclusion of their internship the students will present their work to Vanderbilt and visiting scientists. This experience also gives the students a unique opportunity to interact with professionals and professions that will assist them to make choices regarding future educational goals and career.

    The involvement of the three Choctaw students in the Aspirnaut program is the result of a partnership between Aspirnaut and Vanderbilt officials and the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) and tribal leaders.

    The summer program is ongoing and will continue to Aug. 3

    • Southeast Middle School QUEST teacher Sarah Cook will travel to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa, this summer for a five-week summer institute with 25 other teachers from across the nation.  

    While in South Africa, the teachers will embark on an intellectual adventure of discovery, learning, and field study. Professors affiliated with Rhodes University in Grahamstown and the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, will deliver lectures.

    During their time in South Africa, the teachers will also visit historical and cultural sites in and around Cape Town, attend various events at the National Arts Festival, the largest on the continent, and conduct a field study for two weeks throughout the country, interacting with South Africans, visiting cities, savannas, mountains, lowlands, and the coast.

    More than 200 applicants applied nationwide for this selective program and only 25 were selected.

    • West Lauderdale Attendance Center student Jake Feist won third place in the Individual Category, Grades 4-5, at the Mississippi Department of Education's Annual State Reading Fair, which was held recently in Jackson.

    Jacob won second place at his school, first at the district reading fair and first place at the regional reading fair for his project on the book "I Survived the Attacks of September 11th, 2001" by Lauren Tarshis.

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