We are deeply committed to improving STEM education and success, first in our local context and in our state of Mississippi, and beyond in other contexts of need.
It is our conviction that:
1. ... scientific literacy fosters critical and objective thinking that nurtures societal well-being (character is arguably more important, but history attests to the perils of ignorance, poor rhetoric, and ill logic)
2. ... effective science educational outreach is a moral good and a vital responsibility of scientists and scientists-in-training
3. ... it would be indulgent for us as scientists to merely enjoy and keep the fruits of our scientific labors to ourselves (especially when many of us are funded by public tax dollars)
4. ... scientists have an obligation to "pay-it forward." We have been heavily invested in by our mentors and funding agencies--we should do the same for the next generation of scientists.
Seeing a need for Mississippi high school students to have opportunities to engage in STEM research at Ole Miss, Dr. Hom established the ARISE@UM program (A Research Immersive STEM Experience at the University of Mississippi), which launched as a pilot program in the summer of 2015. The ARISE@UM program is intended to be a multi-pronged initiative to improve STEM-education and the pipeline of MS students pursuing STEM degrees and thriving in STEM careers. Our immediate focus and efforts have been devoted to providing nurturing, faculty-mentored summer research experiences to high school students from across MS (although we have been glad to host out-of-state students too!). We have recently expanded the program to offer research opportunities to community college students. In our next phase of development, we would like to extend these opportunities to instructors at high schools and community colleges in the state.
If you are interested in participating in the program, would like to learn more about the program, or are interested in supporting ARISE@UM philantropically, please contact us at: . For further details, please visit the dedicated website for the program.