Upward Bound students show final projects

Allison Brookes

On Thursday, 138 colorful tri-fold boards, full of information and adorned by pictures, lined the second floor of the Student Center.

The Spirit of Excellence Student Showcase allowed each student in the Upward Bound Summer Program to share their five-week adventure at Kent State with friends and family.

“Their board is to show expressions in their own words about what stuck out to them in their classes and what they are taking away from this whole experience,” said Dana Lawless-Andric, director of Pre-College TRiO Upward Bound programs.

Tajee Anderson, who just completed her first summer of the program, made a hurricane preparedness kit for her presentation on Hurricane Katrina. She said the hurricane displaced 2.4 trillion gallons of water, which is equivalent to 2 billion Olympic sized pools.

Sarah Kitchen, who has been in the program for two summers, took a different angle on Hurricane Katrina. She focused her board on the thousands of homes and lives lost during the storm. Kitchen said she learned a lot about scholarships, jobs and financial aid in her life skills classes this summer.

As a service project, students in the math and science program made solar cookers out of various materials. One of the groups, which made their solar cooker from an umbrella, was able to bake a small pizza inside. The temperature inside the cooker was the highest out of the six groups.

Joanne Caniglia, associate professor and solar cooker instructor, said the winning projects will be sent to the Kent State programs in Africa for the instructors and students to put together.

“I think that this project helps the students see how math is used and the real power of math,” Caniglia said.

Students from the fashion design and electronic media Upward Bound programs displayed their finished projects on Friday evening in the Spirit of Excellence Closing Program.

The electronic media class shared with the audience the infomercial they created about Kent State entitled “A Summer Not at Upward Bound is a Summer Wasted.” Danielle Wiggings, their instructor, said the 14 students worked hard to produce it.

During the ceremony, students interested in fashion design and merchandising modeled dresses they made for class. Tameka Ellington, their instructor, said each student was assigned a specific brand and had to create a dress to fit that label.

Architecture instructor Beth Bilek- Golias said the Upward Bound seniors in the architecture studies program had to design a load-bearing chair out of cardboard that would hold them up. The students achieved this goal and had their chairs on display at the student center.

Brianna Bradley, a senior who designed a chair, said she thinks the Upward Bound program is frowned upon because the participants are first generation college students who come from urban areas.

“We don’t get the recognition we should for pursuing our dreams and stepping out of the box,” she said. “There are some great kids here who wouldn’t get a chance without this program.”

Contact diversity reporter Allison Brookes at [email protected].