Erin Allen, from White Oak, North Carolina, graduated in December of 2018 with a degree in chemistry. In October of 2018 she attended the Bridging the Gap Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina where she and her mentor, Dr. Meredith Storms, presented a poster titled “All Aboard! Full STEM Ahead for Scientific Discovery and Reading Literacy.” This poster was a combination of Erin’s senior project and Dr. Storms’ prior work. Erin is proud of the project and is thankful that she had the opportunity to work with Dr. Storms and leave a positive impact on her campus and community. Being a member of the honors college gave Erin many opportunities, and these opportunities helped her to stand out in the application pool for physician assistant (PA) school. She said, “Being a member of the honors college was something that really helped to set me apart from my peers during that application process.” It also gave her a community to be a part of and memories she will cherish forever.
Erin’s senior project consisted of a service learning project that she created alongside Dr. Meredith Storms (the project that they presented at the conference they attended in Raleigh in October). The title of the project is “STEM Programs at Local Libraries: Encouraging Elementary Students’ Interest in the Sciences.” The two worked together to develop a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) -based curriculum to educate children in grades K- 5. She wanted to work on introducing STEM-related activities at a young age so as children get older, they have already been exposed to the basics and have a better understanding and appreciation for STEM studies. Dr. Storms and Erin implemented this curriculum in the Scotland County Library and partnered with Robeson County Library to provide an additional presentation to an already established program.
After graduation, Erin attended PA school at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina to become a licensed physician assistant. She advises honors students to “Stick with it,” because although sometimes it is difficult it is worth the work. Erin’s greatest memory from her undergraduate experience is the amazing relationships that she has built. Erin said, “Walking down the hallways through the chemistry department, the professors know my name and care about me.” She knows that even after graduation she will continue to keep in touch with her professors and peers she met through the honors college.
Title: STEM Programs at Local Libraries: Encouraging Elementary Students’ Interest in the Sciences
Mentor: Dr. Meredith Storms