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September 26, 2008

Celebration of Humanities and Sciences scheduled for Oct. 6

The ULM College of Arts and Sciences will host a “Celebration of Humanities and Sciences” Monday, Oct. 6, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Building Ballroom. ULM invited students and teachers from Ouachita Parish and the region to attend this year’s event, which is titled "A Festival of Knowledge" and will be based on fall carnivals and festivals.

The annual event, begun in 2006, brings together teachers, professors and students who are enthusiastic about biology, chemistry, physics, math, foreign languages, English, history, communication, atmospheric sciences, agriculture, and family and consumer sciences.

Each discipline develops an interactive display that involves the visiting students. Dinner is served to the teachers and students, and Dr. Jeffrey Cass, dean of Arts and Sciences, will welcome the participants.

Visitors then play a game likened to Jeopardy, and the answers are available upon review of the displays. ULM instructors Kevin Unter and Marlena Koper are organizing the game based on questions submitted by the various disciplines.

Ruth Smith, one of the event’s founders and the ULM department head of foreign languages, said, “The overriding goal is to show these high school students that they can enjoy these foundational disciplines, and that it's okay to admit that they like literature, history, language, chemistry, etc., and might even think about studying more on the college level. You can see the enthusiasm on the faces of the committee members, all of whom are born teachers.”

ULM instructor of foreign languages María Blanca Wortham also noted the energy generated by the event. "It's great to watch the students have so much fun with studies that have so much tradition and history behind them. They really come alive with enthusiasm for the various interactive displays and the opportunity to talk with equally enthusiastic ULM faculty and students."

Valerie Matejowsky, a French teacher at Ouachita Christian School, found the event to be very educational and plans to bring her students again this year. “It’s a great experience for college-bound students to meet teachers and see what college is all about. My students enjoy it, enjoy meeting other students and the professors, and enjoy participating in the activities. All of the departments do a fantastic job – the main thing is the environment; it’s a snippet of the college experience.”

After a previous year’s “Celebration of Humanities and Sciences,” Ollie McIntyre, a St. Frederick High School biology teacher stated, "This was great! Students float around to different booths set up with experiments and displays. [It was an] excellent learning environment - the interaction with other students and the ULM faculty was great - the meal was delicious - it was really nice!"

Susan Socha, an English teacher at St. Frederick High School agreed with McIntyre after attending a previous year’s event. "It is a great evening - the students interact with one another (some who don't do so on a daily basis)...there are fun activities for them to participate in AND they eat a good meal. I'm already thinking about who should be invited this year!"

The ULM Student Government Association, the Campus Activities Board, and the Office of Recruitment and Admissions are also supporting the event.

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