STEM At PSC Leads to Educational Opportunities [5/15/14]
What an interesting path Carine Bah’s education has taken since starting at Prairie State College (PSC) in 2011. And who knows where her career will go once she completes her chemistry studies.
Bah moved to Matteson, Ill from the Ivory Coast in 2011. Since she did not know English, her first step was to enroll in PSC’s English as a Second Language class (ESL). PSC is located in Chicago Heights, which made for an easy commute from her home in Matteson. Once she was at PSC, she discovered the college’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program. STEM@PSC is funded by two grants the college received from the U.S. Department of Education.
During her two years at PSC she was an excellent student. “She was at the top here, just an outstanding student and such a hard worker,” according to Dr. Christine Brooms, associate professor of chemistry. “Carine was a wonderful student, very easy to work with and wanted so much to take advantage of the opportunities available here at PSC.”
One of the STEM activities she participated in was being a Peer-Led Team Leader (PLTL) leading a weekly workshop study session for select STEM courses. The PLTL workshop sessions are used as a supplemental study group, in addition to lecture and lab hours. By working closely with faculty, PLTL leaders guide students toward effectively discussing and solving problems, learning study skills, and building self-confidence in the subject matter. Since Bah was in such good academic standing, she was employed as a PLTL leader.
After spending two years at PSC, Bah was told about an opportunity for a full tuition scholarship at Alabama State University by Dr. Melanie Eddins-Spencer, alumnus Alabama State University, and associate professor in mathematics at PSC and part of the STEM program. Bah applied and received a full ride to the university to study biology.
One of the great features of the Alabama State program is the opportunity for student research. Bah is spending the summer at University of Cincinnati doing a biology internship. In December she will spend two weeks in Peru on a medical internship.
Bah is very grateful for her experience as a STEM student at PSC. “Being a part of the STEM program and PLTL leader, I learned how to study and learn. It led to wonderful opportunities for me,” she said.
“This student demonstrates the opportunities available at PSC,” according to Dr. Terri Winfree, PSC president. “I am proud to lead an institution that embraces the different cultures of our students.”
Since it is the time of year when students are graduating and pursuing the next step in their education, Bah’s story illustrates PSC’s tag line, Start near. Go far.
For more information on STEM@PSC, please call (708) 709-7956.