Thursday, July 14, 2011

13.7.11: McNair ISI Closing Ceremony

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Today the scholars received certificates for their completion of the McNair International Summer Institute hosted by the University of East London. During the ceremony, scholars had a chance to hear from the Pro Vice Chancellor John Shaw and speak with representatives from the U.S. Embassy.  Each of the scholars were also provided an opportunity to share how this international experience with impact their future.  It was great to see such a great turnout from UEL faculty and staff.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

11.7.11 & 12.7.11: Independent Scholarly Research

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On Monday and Tuesday the scholars continued working on their research projects.  It is hard to believe that this is our last week.  The four week experience is almost over.  Once back in Orlando, the scholars will complete their summer research project.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

9.7.11 & 10.7.11: Exploring London

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Today we visited the London Eye. We spent the day enjoying the British experience of queuing. As Alma described it, “the line was a serpentine monster that seemed to stretch for centuries!”. The rest of the afternoon was spent getting lost in the city and exploring the vast greens spaces in London. On Sunday, Lucie and Alma went exploring and visited the Tower of London, quite a few churches and cathedrals and a guided tour of haunted London.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

8.7.11: Higher Education Funding Council for England

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Our last official meeting took place at the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Centre Point location in London. We had an opportunity to speak with Clair Murphy and Vicky Waite, both Senior Higher Education Policy Advisors working in widening participation. We were further introduced to the English education system—a system currently undergoing major changes and entering into a pivotal stage in its history. The educational environment is changing into a consumer’s market; student fees are increasing from 3,000 pounds to 9,000. HEFCE’s funding is being cut by 60 percent. The meeting was thought-provoking and it will be interesting to see how this situation plays itself out in the coming years.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

7.7.11: “Our graduates are gorgeous! You should really have one!”

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Today we heard two equally amazing presentations. Femi Bola is so very vibrant and passionate about her role in the UEL community as the Director of Employability. It was apparent that she truly cares a great deal about each and every one of her students. “Our graduates are gorgeous! You should really have one!”, she proclaimed. And in reality it was quite true, her students were very focused and confident, ready to make their own contributions to their communities. It was great to see all of these research interns being supported by UEL.

The second presentation was given by Dr. Caroline Dunmore, UEL’s Researcher Development Manager. She was a wealth of information and the scholars could not stop taking notes. We provided us with additional resources that will serve invaluable as the scholars continue to prepare for graduate school.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

6.7.11: The Olympics and the Place of Aspiration

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Today we had two amazing presentations. Dr. Iain MacRury presented on the Olympics. “Sport, The Olympics and Widening participation”  The scholars found it interesting to learn how the Olympics leaves its mark on the host city.  Dr. MacRury also provided us with the history of the Olympics and it impact on widening participation. It was also interesting to learn that the U.S. Olympic support team will be housed at UEL.

The second talk was given by Dr. Gavin Brown, Lecturer at the University of Leicester. Dr. Brown, a geographer, discussed the importance of spatial planes in his talk entitled “The Place of Aspiration”.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

5.7.11: Further Exploring Widening Participation

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The presentations today provided some additional context to widening participation issues in the UK. Professor John Storan started us off by sharing with us about how his childhood experiences shaped his educational career. The scholars appreciated getting to know him better and were able to understand why WP is so important to him.

Additional speakers for today included: Dr. Beverley Crooks – Widening Participation Officer, Brunel University and Susan Hayday – Director of Workforce Learning Strategy, Foundation Degree Forward (fdf).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

4.7.11: The 4th of July and Research

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As the scholars mentioned, it was quite strange spending the 4th of July away from home and family. The UEL Continuum staff did a great job of making us feel at home. We spent most of the day reflecting about last week’s FACE conference and discussing how the scholar’s research projects were progressing. The scholars spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening in the library.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

3.7.11: A Day of Rest

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Today everyone rested. Lucie and Alma went to Petticoat lane market. It hard to believe we have already been away from UCF for two weeks. Two more weeks until we are back in Orlando. Next week is filled with additional workshops about the UK education system and independent scholarly research..

Sunday, July 10, 2011

2.7.11: Exploring London

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Today we explored London and took the tube to Portobello market. Alma read a book the entire day and Esteban danced his way across London. We walked along the Thames River and saw Big Ben, the London Eye and the Tate Modern. We crossed the London Millennium Footbridge and visited St. Paul’s Cathedral before making our way home.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

1.7.11: Last Day in Scotland

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Today was our last day in Scotland. It was a sad to say goodbye. We everyone was so friendly, especially the two University of Glasgow graduate students we met (Margaret and Amina). Before we left Glasgow we ate at a local restaurant and visited some of area vintage shops. Esteban and the scholars from the University of Kansas tried the highly recommended hagus. After a short flight on Easy Jet – we were back home in London.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

30.6.11: FACE Conference Day Two

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Today we participate in a round table discussion entitled “Listening to Learners: McNair Scholar’s experience of U.S. outreach and student support programs”. The entire hour and a half was filled with questions and discussion about the McNair Scholars program and the experience of scholars. It was interested to learn that the UK did not have any programs similar to the McNair model. Many of the delegates were very eager to create a similar program on their campuses.

The evening ended with yet another fabulous dinner. This was followed with participation in a traditional Scottish dance called the Ceildh (pronounced kay-lee). It was an unforgettable experience.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

29.6.11: Arriving in Glasgow, Scotland

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Today we headed to Glasgow, Scotland for the Forum for Accessing and Continuing Education (FACE) 2011 Annual Conference. Once in Glasgow we made our way to the campus residences. We put our luggage in our rooms and headed over to the conference. As newcomers to the FACE, we had the opportunity to attend a welcome session facilitated by the executive chair of FACE, Professor John Storan. It was nice that the scholars also had opportunity to attend the European Access Network conference because it introduced them to some of the issues that currently exist within the different education systems.

The evening finished with an amazing dinner at the Glasgow civic chambers. We had the opportunity to meet a government official. She personally interacted with us (the McNair scholars) and spent a lengthy bit of time answering our questions about the sights and history of Glasgow. The setting and the food were was absolutely amazing.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

27.6.11 & 28.6.11: Day One & Two of the McNair ISI

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Today was the first day of the McNair International Summer Institute (ISI) at the University of East London. The session started with welcoming remarks from Professor John Storan, director of Continuum and co-director of the International Summer Institute. He led us on a tour of the UEL campus and talked with us about the UEL history and its connection to the community of East London.

One of the first presentations provided us with an overview of the English educational system. The UEL library staff followed with the next presentation. They provided an introduction of the resources and databases best suited for each of the scholars. After lunch the scholars went back to the library to collect articles for their research projects.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

26.6.11: Visiting Brunel University & Amber

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Today we traveled 45 minutes on the train to Brunel University. The McNair scholars from Kansas, Jessica and Emily, joined us. Amber was waiting for us at the train station. It was great to see her and hear about her time at Brunel. She provided us with a campus tour and then introduced us to a place called Nandos for lunch. The scholar enjoyed hearing from Amber and being provided with an opportunity to ask any questions they had about life as a graduate student. The second part of the day was spent exploring London.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

25.6.11: Welcome to London

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Welcome to London, England! We arrived by train in the morning and made our way to the University of East London (UEL). Upon our arrival we were greeted by the UEL McNair ISI staff and two McNair scholars from the University of Kansas. After a brief orientation we picked up some groceries from the local market and spent the rest of the day getting settled in. Tomorrow we will travel to the other side of London to visit Amber Dukes, one of our McNair alum who is studying at Brunel University.

Friday, July 8, 2011

24.6.11: Standing on Top of the World

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Visiting the Opera house, walking the length of Champs Elysees to l’Arc De Triomphe and visiting street vendors along the Seine, marked day two in Paris. We grabbed lunch in the Latin Quarter and then made our way back to the Louvre for some last minute pictures. That night we made our way toward the Eiffel Tower.  Alma was able to meet up with a high school friend who was studying in Paris. We the rest of the night taking in the amazing experience.

Friday, July 8, 2011

23.6.11: Arrival in Paris

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Today we said goodbye to Amsterdam and started out journey via train to Paris. We made the wise decision to rent locker space for our bags and only carrying an overnight bag. After successfully navigating the Metro, we arrived at our hotel for a short break. Michael managed to get snarled at by a little old French man who insisted on cutting in line past the Americans. Our agenda for the day was to visit the Louvre, Notre Dame, Sacré-Coeur and find some amazing food. The Louvre was spectacular. We spent hours weaving through the crowd and trying to get a perfect shot of our favorites pieces.

Friday, July 8, 2011

21.6.11 & 22.6.11: “Access without support is not opportunity”

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The next two days were spent learning more about the differences in the educational system around the world. The scholars had an opportunity to speak with educators from Australia, Africa, and various places in Europe. Today was also the day that Michael presented his joint research project with colleagues from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Organization and Informatics. The presentation explored the impact of the UCF-FOI student exchange. After the presentation the scholars had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Arnold Mitchem, President of the Council for Opportunity in Education.

Friday, July 8, 2011

20.6.11: European Access Network (EAN) Conference

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Today was the first day of the conference. Vrije University was the host for the 2011 European Access Network Conference. We attended a session for newcomers and then went directly into the general meeting. It was here at we were informed that the 2012 EAN annual conference will be held in Zagreb Croatia. The conference provided the scholars an opportunity to meet educators from diverse backgrounds. The scholars were also excited to see our dear friends from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Organization and Informatics.

Friday, July 8, 2011

19.6.11: Our Arrival in Amsterdam

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After a 6-hour flight we arrived in Amsterdam and made our way to customs. It was around 7am by the time we found our way to the train. After a long walk in the Amsterdam cold we settled into our hotel. We dropped off our luggage set out to explore the city. We began by visiting the Anne Frank Museum. We followed this up with lunch at a local pancake restaurant and then visited the Van Gogh museum. The scholars also enjoyed the time wandering about the streets and the public transit system. We visited flower markets, street art displays and several shops. We ended the day by taking a canal boat cruise. This proved to be a 90-minute nap for the scholars.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

McNair ISI: Introduction of UCF Scholars

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

McNair ISI 2011

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