Jenna Bartley | M&M16

Social Problems, Entrepreneurial Solutions

Program: This academic module will aim to teach its students how learning the basics of business can help them create innovative and profitable solutions to the obstacles that society faces every day.

Instructor: Dr. Stephen Lippmann, who has studied organizations and entrepreneurship, has a Ph.D. background in Sociology that equips him to teach formulated market solutions for problems facing society. Being a teacher at Miami University since 2005, he serves as the chair of the Department of Sociology and Gerontology. When he is not conducting research or teaching, Dr. Lippmann says,”In this administrative role, I organize the day-to-day functioning of the department (scheduling, budget, curriculum) develop new programs. After becoming familiar with his curriculum, the summer scholars will learn to think as a sociologist while solving problems like an entrepreneur.

The Process in Developing the Course: When devising the module into the most beneficial learning environment for the summer scholars, the instructor took into consideration components of the business press, scholarly research, and tactics that prosperous entrepreneurs use.

Advantages of taking the Course: Dr. Lippmann invests his time and deep comprehension of social science with the intent that his scholars will take away a new outlook on how to be both lucrative and intelligent in today’s society. As well, he will teach the students to become familiar in applying the processes of diminishing societal issues.

Ongoing Projects During Program: While participating in the program, the scholars will visit two business incubators, analyze data collection projects, create a presentation, and take part in a debate. All of these components will build off of each other with the purpose to give the students an adequate exposure to the production of entrepreneurial solutions that are to be applied to social problems, which will then be transferred into their own designed business plan.


Understanding the Human Brain:
Lessons Learned from Research

Students participate in peer-led presentations.  — Photo by Joyce Fernandes

Program: This module studied the world of research while exploring persisting issues that face science today. In addition, they focused on advancing technology and the importance of its affect over scientific data.

Instructor: Dr. Joyce Fernandes, a developmental neurobiologist, has taught in the Biology department at Miami University for 17 years. Her responsibilities here on campus deal with teaching courses, conducting research and leading seminars.

The Process in Developing the Course: When asked how Dr. Fernandes began piecing her curriculum together, she said, “The BRAIN initiative which is a federally funded effort to co-ordinate advances in brain research that will benefit human diseases.” The program aims to apply science to real life problems that need a solution. 

Laura Jacob and Abby Shaw work through a quiz together — Photo by Joyce Fernandes

Advantages of Taking the Course: Dr. Fernandes main objective for her students was for them to gain a better grasp over the significance of fundamental research, and then transferring it to the biomedical field. As well, she hoped that they would leave her module knowing how technology advancements could be beneficially applied to science.

Ongoing Projects During Program: During the two weeks here at Miami, Dr. Fernandes students were immersed into library based research that would be applicable to their search for information over sleep, addiction and memory.


Activists in Action: Building Socially Just Leaders

Program: The ambition of this course is to instill a foundation that will equip the academic scholars with requisites that will demonstrate what it entails to have an equitably diverse society, while dissecting the demanded leadership skills to generate such a culture.

Instructor: Dr. Michelle Cosmah, a former student at Miami University, serves on campus as a clinical faculty member in the Teacher Education Department. From instructing undergraduates to graduates, she goes beyond campus lines in teaching local school districts where she has on-going partnerships.

The Process in Developing the Course: Dr. Cosmah, is well immersed in the curriculum she hopes her students will absorb during their visit, for she holds ties to the Urban Educational Leadership Program. When asked for a peek into her decision process on what to include and omit from the course, Dr. Cosmah said,”I feel that understanding leadership styles can help anyone be successful in their career. I want to teach others about leadership techniques and how to be positive activists as leaders in various settings.” One of the lead tasks the scholars will hone in on during their visit, will be to shatter the notion that variability of diversity is tied to a negative connotation, for to be a truly just advocate of all people, the leader must be adept in seeing what everyone has to offer.

Advantages of taking the Course: Through attending this module, Dr. Cosmah expects her students to leave the program with a deep comprehension of how and which leadership styles to employ, contingent of the atmosphere the issue is being challenged in. Being able to see how another person functions in a challenging situation, and then going further in putting them at ease is what the instructor aims for each student to acquire over the 2 weeks.


Meet Roberto Parker

Roberto Parker Performing – Photo by Lily Adams

Roberto Parker, originally from San Antonio Texas, but now a Cincinnati resident, is 16 and heading into his senior year of high school. Roberto is currently employed at a construction business, where he has worked for 2 years with his father. When he is not at school or working, Parker spends his time engaged with photography and producing music for both his marching band and for himself as a graphic designer. Being well-versed in all percussion instruments, Roberto also plays the piano, bass, clarinet, and is in his choir.



Photo Shot and Provided by Roberto Parker

Parker got into the music scene at the young age of 7 when he began writing his own songs. Producing music began as a way he could express himself, which turned into a business when he started uploading his music online to sites such as, Soundcloud and The young performer took his talent to his high school when he signed up for marching band, where he leads his fellow musicians as the drum captain. As a member of the band, he plays the snare drum, but as the lead drummer during a performance, he is the main source of direction for the drumline as he says here, “The job of the drum captain is to establish tempo and keep rhythm for the entire band.” Through this leadership experience, Roberto has acquired responsibility for not only himself, but also for the other musicians, which has allowed him to grow abundantly as a person in charge.


Photo Shot and Provided by Roberto Parker

In comparison to how long Roberto has been making music, the photography business is a relatively newer passion of his, for he has been only taking pictures for about a year and a half. When asked why he chose to try this art form, his response was, “I forget things a lot so I use photography as a means of capturing moments that I would otherwise forget.” Although Roberto without a doubt has excelled through his expression of various forms of art, he is also a well-rounded student when it comes to academics. With high grades and an outstanding ACT score, Roberto is being pursued by prestigious universities with the hopes of attending one where he will major in marketing and minor in nutrition.


Meet Peyton Krell

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Photo Provided by Peyton Krell

Peyton Krell, 17, an incoming senior in high school from Mason Ohio, came to the Miami University Summer Scholars Program with the aspiration to obtain a more experimental feel for what it is like on campus as well as in the Farmer School of Business. At his school, he is heavily involved with an student-run organization known as S.I.B.S., Students Involving & Befriending Students, where he is in leadership as a board member. Here Peyton expresses what his job entails, “I give tour guides to the incoming freshmen and I lead programs to help spread awareness of bullying on school grounds.” After proving his competence to the program, the school psychologist took note and offered him the position of assisting him with students who have a lot going on mentally and physically in their lives. His tasks could be as simplistic as walking a fellow student to class due to expressed signs of anxiety, or as generous in donating the day to spend time with a student who has a mental disability.

Outside of academics, Peyton plays for his school Lacrosse team where he has served as team captain since sophomore year. When asked what his duties consist of, he said, “I am responsible for making sure everyone is at practices and games, I lead warm-ups, and act

Photo Provided by Peyton Krell

as as the voice of the team when disputes arise between us and the referee.” Being in a position of leadership for him has been challenging, since he has to make difficult decisions that his teammates who he has been playing with for years might disagree with, but nonetheless rewarding because it has allowed him to grow as an individual. Peyton hopes to take his leadership skills that have taught him responsibility and put them to use in his academic career that lies ahead. For his future, he hopes to attend Miami University, while majoring in some form of business


If you would have asked me what journalism is two weeks ago, my answer would presumably go along the lines of, “The task which is relegated to an informant who investigates a particular beat then regurgitates a detailed report for a newspaper whether online or in print.” If I were to have made this statement, it would not be wrong, however it would not have been right either. I walked into the Miami University Summer Scholars program with a mental image of journalism ingrained in my mind. The picture could be described as broad in the simplistic manner of my definition, while being narrow in the closed mindedness of being uninformed.

Being given the opportunity to sit down with successful journalists, coming from backgrounds in the fields of photography all the way to radio talk-show hosts, I learned that if one has a passion for writing but not the subject of crime, fashion or etc., that does not mean journalism is not for them. As a current high school student, I endure first-hand the immense pressure of already having decided what I want to do with my life when it is just beginning. When researching career paths, a book or website give straight cut lines that do not seem to stray from the definition of its job title. In my head, journalism was locked in the category of print for a newspaper, which made showing interest in this field a daunting notion. As I went through the program, the concept of being a journalist was reestablished but this time with the credentials and experiences that confirmed its claim. Miami’s journalism department, MJF, has a faculty and staff abundant with different educational and working histories, which made all the statements I was taking in act as living proof.

As modernization continues to flourish with the times, it is not unknown that journalism jobs are becoming more scarce. When choosing a major that will dictate the life I live mentally and physically, the uncertainty of work is a dismaying thought to be lingering. However, journalists from the Cincinnati Enquirer to WVXU instilled the important piece of advice over being well-versed in the varying fields of journalism, because there will always be a job for a willing worker. Perhaps the openings for positions are not as copious as other occupations, but if your drive thrives off of the passion for your profession, you will not go unnoticed.