After they finish their last finals for the spring semester, most students are excited to pack their bags and head home to start their summer break. However, a few Lyon College students chose to spend their summer on campus participating in a program called Upward Bound Math-Science (UBMS).
UBMS is a federally funded program at Lyon College that serves first-generation, low income high school students in central and eastern Arkansas. The goal of this program is to provide students with the opportunities, skills and motivation to successfully complete college.
This summer several Lyon College students applied and were accepted to serve as Tutor-Mentors (TM) for UBMS. These students include senior Cindy Rainbolt, junior Justin Dunn, and sophomore Wyatt Treadway.
For Dunn, a history and secondary education major, applying for UBMS was a perfect way for him to get some experience under his belt for his future profession of being a teacher.
“When I was brainstorming what I wanted to do this summer I knew that I wanted to do something that could give me direct teaching experience,” said Dunn.
He continued, “After applying and interviewing for many different positions I eventually decided on UBMS due to the amount of participation in both academics and activities I would be able to have.”
Treadway, a chemistry and biology major and psychology and exercise science minor, was more attracted to the subject material of the program when applying for the job.
“I got an email about this program and decided to apply for it. Since it was very STEM based, I knew I would love every second of it. I got an interview for the position and the rest is history,” said Treadway.
Rainbolt, a psychology major, is a returning TM, having worked with the program last summer, she said that she decided to come back this summer because it felt like a natural fit.
TMs are hired to help assist with the summer residential part of the program where the UBMS high school participants spend six weeks at Lyon College getting to experience college life.
“Whether it is helping out with calculus homework, devising fun activities for the students, or just being someone to talk to on a bad day, my role as a TM covers all of whatever a student might need this summer,” said Dunn.
Rainbolt also commented on what it is like to be a TM saying, “I sit in on the same classes the students are in so that I can properly tutor them in the class if they need help, but I am also in a mentor position. I am here to help guide students to the goals they want to achieve.”
All three spoke on how beneficial their classes at Lyon College have been in preparing them for this opportunity.
Treadway said, “Since most of these classes are STEM based, I can help the students in almost every class offered. My classes at Lyon College have also taught me many study skills that I did not know before.”
Rainbolt said, “Although I haven’t had any classes to prepare me for this specifically, I have gained useful skills from every class. My classes have helped me increase my self-discipline which is extremely important for this job.”
Dunn accredited the education department at Lyon College for the skills and techniques he has used to help UBMS students this summer.
“I believe that my classes at Lyon have definitely prepared me for this summer with UBMS,” said Dunn. “One of the greatest strengths of the education department at Lyon College is its focus on educating a wide range of diverse students and fitting their needs as an individual and not as a group.”
All three went into this experience of working with UBMS with different outcomes in mind though it seems they might have gotten more out of it than they ever expected.
“I’m excited to watch how the students grow and develop their interests and personalities further and hear how they use the skills they learn here into their everyday lives,” said Rainbolt. “This is also a great opportunity to discover if I am interested in teaching in the future.”
Treadway said, “I hope to leave this program with some experiences and skills that I have not learned before. With my current career goals, I want to learn as much as possible about anything that can help me in the long run.”
Dunn said, “I believe that these kids are teaching me as much as I am teaching them. Knowing that I made a difference in at least one of the student’s lives would be more than enough for me to take away from this summer.”
Rainbolt, Dunn, and Treadway only have a few more weeks of working with UBMS and then they will be able to enjoy the rest of their summer at home before they return to continue taking classes at Lyon College in the fall.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had major effects on the world, including being a setback for the incoming class of 2024. Despite many obstacles unfairly being thrown her way, rising junior biology and chemistry major Isabella “Izzy” Beasley has not succumbed to the weight of these challenges or allowed them to change her future plans. Instead she has persevered.
One of her chemistry professors, research facilitators, and mentors, Dr. Irosha Nawarathne, commends Beasley for the incredible work ethic and other admirable characteristics that she has shown so far throughout her time at Lyon College.
“She was in my Year One class on the Chemical Biology of Infectious diseases during the pandemic where we met only virtually,” said Nawarathne.
She continued, “I found her intelligence, work ethics, enthusiasm, divergent thinking ability, collaborative skills, communication strengths, courteous yet outgoing personality, leadership, and preparation for college far beyond excellent for a freshman who has not even had the opportunity to be on campus by then.”
Beasley’s hard work and dedication to her studies has been recognized by more than Dr. Nawarathne, landing Beasley best award in the organic chemistry sequence and one other chemistry program award at this past academic year’s Honors Convocation.
Though the school year has come to an end and summer has begun, Beasley is not putting a stop to her education. She recently had the opportunity to attend the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) through a 5-day summer academy designed to introduce students to the topic of climate change, and ended up being the only Arkansan in attendance.
“I specifically want to go into ecology and conservation which is why I was drawn to SCIPP. Because I was like ‘oh my gosh, conservation of ecosystems… that has a lot to do with climate change… you would think,” Beasley said laughing. “They did not cater to me at all. Which was fine, but they were definitely more meteorology and geology based. I still learned a lot.”
While SCIPP did not turn out to be quite what she expected, Beasley stressed that the opportunity still met her expectations of allowing her to learn something new and also allowed her to experience some really interesting things.
“It was really cool because all of the professors there were top Lousianna State University people or top Oklahoma University people. Everyone was teaching us about these climate projection tools that they MADE. How to use them, how to read them, how to interpolate them for other people. All of these top people are giving us first hand knowledge.”
While Beasley admits that SCIPP didn’t quite hit the mark for her specialty, she is convinced that it could be the perfect fit for others interested in a similar field and just an awesome experience overall.
“I would recommend this to lower classmen just because they offer this to so many career paths that are in climate adaptation that I didn’t even know were a thing”, Beasley said.
She continued, “They brought in the city planner from Oklahoma City that made all of this cool stuff and then they took us to the parks that he made. It was actually kind of sick! They brought in writers who create these proposals. A lot of things that I had never thought about before and it was an eye opener.”
Beasley’s plan to go into a career in ecology and conservation has been a longstanding goal of hers since she came to Lyon College.
“Even as a freshman, she knew what research she'd like to go into,” said Nawarathne.
Despite being surrounded by several other branches of climate adaptation, Beasley did not sway in her desire to pursue opportunities within the fields of ecology and conservation. She explained why she is so drawn to this specific field.
“We see a lot of people, species, and ecosystems are suffering because of how we interact with them… literally just with human contamination we are seeing effects. And I think it was cool to see their climate projection trends with our effects and without our effects and how different it was. That was really appealing to me.”
It is clear that despite the unforeseen obstacles thrown in her path during the pandemic, Beasley definitely has the perseverance necessary to achieve her ambitious goals.
Beasley plans to continue pursuing events related to the specialty of conservation that she is interested in while completing her biology and chemistry degrees at Lyon College. Upon graduation she hopes to go into biomedical/environmental research.
It has been over two years since the world first came to a halt in the wake of a global pandemic. For those two years the world was isolated, borders were closed, and travel was heavily restricted. As the world has slowly healed and regained some normalcy, those once-closed borders have given way to the revitalization of going abroad.
Madison Burell, Morrigan Crist, Chloe DeSouza, Trevor Freemire and Aria Switzer are slated for semesters abroad in various countries and will be revitalizing the Nichols study abroad program this year with their respective destinations: University of Poitiers, France: Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland: Andrés Bello National University, Chile: Akita International University, Japan: and Rome.
The excitement amongst the group was practically unanimous. Not all of the students have left the country before, much less alone, but they seemed more than prepared to dive into new experiences.
Burell, a sophomore French and business and economics major, said, “I’m very excited, but also very nervous. It is going to be an entirely new place, and I don’t even know where I am going to live yet. It’s going to be an adventure!”
Rome-bound junior Switzer will be taking part in a plein air art class and will be painting amidst the streets instead of between desks in a university.
She said, “I chose this program because I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to gain more work for my portfolio, and to learn more about painting and drawing techniques that I am not the most familiar with.”
Switzer continued, “This will be such an opportunity to really grow and push my work in ways it hasn't been pushed before.”
Political science major Freemire said, “It’s one of those things where outside of college, you don't exactly have a good opportunity to do it. You can do tourism and things like that, but it isn't easy for you to go and do things within the culture if you don’t necessarily have an ‘in.’”
Crist, a sophomore anthropology and history major, on the other hand said that it just seemed like the smart decision academically.
“My career as an archaeologist is going to take me abroad, so studying methods solely in one area seems like a disservice for me, especially given my field,” said Crist, “I would’ve felt incomplete if I stayed in one place.”
Burell had similar thoughts when it came to why studying abroad makes a difference compared to a standard domestic education.
She said, “I chose to study abroad because I believe it is truly the best way to immerse yourself in a culture, language, or even field of study! Surround yourself with people who live the culture everyday of their life. They know themselves better than anyone, and you have to just put yourself in the middle of them.”
This was a sentiment shared by the other students as well. Culture and immersion seemed like a staple experience and one of the big takeaways from their plans to study abroad.
Crist said, “One thing I am looking forward to is the social aspect of the trip. I haven’t really experienced much culture outside of my own. Being able to learn in a new environment helps cut down on the US-centric ideas that we cultivate here.”
Switzer said, “I am so excited to meet all the other artists and the instructors in the program. I cannot wait to just soak up every bit of knowledge possible, and immerse myself into a new culture.”
Study abroad trips are a phenomenal way to get in touch with the spirit of the community. Freemire had already planned out some of the events and festivities he will attend in Japan over the summer.
He said, “There is an Akita specific festival, Kanto Matsuri or the pole lantern festival, at the very beginning of August, right before I leave, and I am very excited to get to experience that. Another one I am looking forward to is Tanabata.”
Tanabata, also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese festival originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi. This is something that Freemire said he has been waiting to see for a long time.
Although unlike a few of the other students, Freemire has had much longer to prepare for these festivities.
“I actually applied to go to Akita pre-pandemic. It was spring of 2020 when I put in my first application, and as we all know crap soon hit the fan,” said Freemire.
He continued, “Mr. Macade sat through all two years of it with me, and he did nothing but make sure I was fully prepared for when Japan finally called.”
While Freemire had plenty of time to get things in order, other students, like Crist, had only started their applications this semester!
“I started working on my application around late february/early march this semester,” She said.
Crist continued, “I have wanted to go to Ireland for such a long time. This specific program is one of the main reasons I chose Lyon College to begin with. It was the bigger part of my 5-year-plan.”
Even before heading to newer pastures, the students were more than certain that studying abroad is an opportunity more students should experience.
“I think that everyone should look into study abroad opportunities. If you want to be cultured, studying abroad is something you should do. Being able to learn these vast histories and experience cultures from around the world, that is something amazing that everyone should try,” said Freemire.
Crist explained, “I am a student of color, and so going to a place where I feel safe is important. My culture has a lot of crossover with Irish history, so I feel that it is a great fit for what I am wanting.”
With traveling comes sorting out tickets, lodging, and most importantly travel papers. Burell emphasized that if students were planning on getting a foot in the door with studying abroad, don’t be afraid of paperwork.
“There is a lot of paperwork, but it is worth every second! It is something that, if you want to do it, you should start on it early and stick with it,” said Burell.
Switzer said, “To be completely honest I didn’t believe I was going to get accepted into this study abroad program, however to my surprise I was. If I had not applied because of my fear of not getting accepted I would have missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The Lyon College Nichols International Studies Program provides financial assistance to students, offering a more reliable and fulfilling opportunity to travel abroad and earn college credits.
Like most students during summer break, Eli Kemp rushed from his hometown of Conway, AR to the coast; however, Kemp will be doing more than just splashing in the waves this summer. Kemp, a senior biology major, is completing marine biology classes through the University of West Alabama while studying at Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL).
This isn’t his first time working at DISL either. Last summer Kemp completed a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) that opened the door for more research opportunities in the area, and when this opportunity presented itself Kemp was ready.
“I learned about these programs last summer when I was doing my REU at DISL; my mentor was teaching a class and I would go out with that class to collect samples for my research.”
Having plenty of past experience of completing applications, Kemp had no issue pursuing this opportunity.
“It was pretty easy to apply, I just reached out to a liaison at UWA and expressed my interest in the classes. From there it was just paperwork,” Kemp said.
Kemp will be taking two different classes during his time at Dauphin Island Sea Lab this summer: Shark and Ray Biology and Marine Behavioral Ecology.
“For Shark and Ray Biology, we'll learn about some common field techniques used by shark researchers and how to identify local sharks,” Kemp said. “Marine Behavioral Ecology will look at how animal behavior is impacted by/interacts with the environment.”
Kemp explained that, due to the nature of the classes, on top of having normal coursework to complete, participants will also have the chance to get out on the water and get their hands dirty doing field work.
Getting out on the water may seem intimidating to some, but Kemp emphasized the importance of his time studying at Lyon College and how that has helped him prepare for this opportunity.
“Being able to do so much field work with our professors gives me practical experience, but it also encourages me to go outside my comfort zone and try new things.”
In addition to exciting new fieldwork and research techniques, Kemp said he was equally as excited to have the chance to network and potentially create lifelong career connections.
Kemp plans to continue pursuing a career in marine biology and hopes that the connections and experiences from his time studying at DISL will aid him after he graduates from Lyon College.
One hundred and twenty eight Lyon College students qualified for the Dean’s list for the spring 2022 semester.
Student’s must earn a 3.75 or higher GPA and take a minimum of 12 credit hours that semester to appear on the list.
Students from Arkansas include:
Spencer E. Rhoden
Raleigh B. Russ
Lola D. Beeser
Karson S. Douglas
Lexi C. Edwards
Marcos Fernandez de Oliveira
Julianna O. Howard
Michael J. Jorgensen
Kelsey L. Lorch
Grant P. Patterson
Cindy L. Rainbolt
Carson O. Reed
Erin E. Rider
Destiny A. Sharp
Chloe E. Sharp
Cole S. Taylor
Christopher X. Bronson
Madelyn M. Walker
Kaytlin B. Wheeler
McKenzie M. Campbell
Faith M. Hargis
Paige N. Kelley
Nicholas M. McDonald
Kaleah J. Davis
Kaitlin D. Towell
Lauren L. Brown
Allison R. Byars
Ian C. Jackson
Brianna J. Reed
Thomas A. Osborn
Alexis N. Marley
Blakely K. Spears
Havana R. Santis
Rachel E. Tyler
Hot Springs Village
Hannah C. Brewer
Avery M. Aquino
Katherine L. Hunter
Aisha H. Mahmoud
Nikkolette A. Perkins
Jake G. Smith
Hattie E. Milligan
Wilson G Borkowski
William C. Robertson
Andreea C. Terlea
Sawyer L. Swaim
Logan H. Richerson
Braden L. Glenn
Rayya E. Smyth
Alexander W. Holzwarth
Hannah L. Walz
Bailey L. Barnard
Layla L. Hedden
Slayton L. Wheeler
Mackenzie L. Collins
North Little Rock
Zachary J. Nohr
Tyler M. Doucet
Mary K. Duffield
Benjamin J. Norton
Bethany A. Ellis
Ethan E. Turner
Hannah G. Ward
Jaron S. Price
Jacob E. Wolfrom
Camryn A. Long
Thien-Kim T. Ho
Benjamin K. Keton
Savanna R. Thomas
Taylor N. Mitchell
Out-of-state students include:
Kassidy Y. Robinson
Georgia R. Holzer
San Bernardino, California
Juan M. Araque Vargas
Daisy M. Hall
Christopher S. Burrup
Megan E. Engelhardt
Clare M. Wilber
Riley E. Shaw
Kristen P. Baham
Gaven N. Peterie
Madison L. Burell
Zoe R. Holdiness
Isabella A. Beasley
Kassandra P. Meyer
Sarah M. Evans
Ashlyn I. Winters
Kate E. Whitenton
Erin N. McIntier
Jordan N. Davis
League City, Texas
Kiah S. Hopkins
Andrew M. Hancock
Aidan D. Pantoya
Missouri City, Texas
Zachary J. Ellis
Zachary H. Smith
New Braunfels, Texas
David E. Overpeck
Hunter W. Perkins
The Colony, Texas
Haeley N. Pines
Zachary M. Blake
International students include:
Debjanee P. Nandy
Tinotenda B. Mtangadura
Andrei Cristian Galca Mitran
Lyon is more than just a college. It's a community distinguished by its academic curriculum, unique honor and social systems, and award-winning professors.