ESTAAR (Episcopal Students Take Action in Advanced Research) is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) independent research program geared toward a select group of students with the drive to perform high-level research in a STEM field. In addition to required coursework, students in this two year program develop their own research projects under the mentorship of professors at local research institutes (for more information, see this previous blog about ESTAAR).
Three seniors successfully completed this rigorous program this year, earning each of them a Distinction award (see this previous blog to learn more about the Episcopal Distinctions program). In addition to the awards given, Episcopal would like to recognize their work and dedication, as well as their supervising professors, who supported these students in their scientific journey:
Seven new ESTAAR students have been accepted into the program for the 2019-2020 school year. We would like to thank Dr. Diaz, Dr. McPeak, and Dr. Pojman, along with all the other research professors who have participated and are participating in the ESTAAR program.
*“LSU AgCenter Gets $1M for Research on Wetlands Roseau Cane.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 10 Mar. 2019, www.apnews.com/1396d1021e3d4e2ba4d0e647bd2773a2.
Dr. Sara Fenske
Dr. Sara Fenske pursued a career in education because of her love of science and desire to share that passion with others. Knowing the impact a great education can have, Sara chose to focus on teaching and curriculum design, with a focus on continuous improvement. Dr. Fenske joined Episcopal as a member of the science faculty and the Academic Programs Special Projects Manager. In 2018 she transitioned into the role of Dean of Academics. In this new position, Dr. Fenske works collaboratively with the Head of School, division heads, department chairs and faculty members to ensure Episcopal’s continued strong and relevant academic performance. Prior to joining Episcopal, she was the Science Department Chair and taught at Linden Hall in Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor of Science in cell and molecular biology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Eight Episcopal juniors spent the last week of May in Washington, D.C. as part of the Close Up program. Students spent their days visiting the museums, memorials, and monuments and their evenings in workshops with students from all over North America including Alaska, Canada, Nebraska, South Dakota, Georgia, and Mexico. In those meetings, students discussed current issues facing our nation.
On Wednesday, May 29, Episcopal students visited with staff from the offices of Senator Bill Cassidy, Senator John Kennedy, and Representative Garret Graves. LSU junior and Episcopal alumna Caroline Crawford ‘17, who is interning for Graves this summer, greeted the group in Representative Graves' office.
The Close Up Program started in the late 1960s when founder Steve Janger wanted to help young people understand democracy in the United States through informed debate and collaborative learning. You can read more about the program here https://www.closeup.org/.