From the Journal of Morgan Meyer

Activists in Action: Building Socially Just Leaders

Instructor: Dr. Michelle Cosmah, a clinical faculty member in the Teacher Education Department since 2013, works with anyone from undergraduates, graduate students, and local partnership schools.

Students learn about activism in the Summer Scholars program. — Photo courtesy of Miami University

Inspiration for the class: Cosmah studied Urban Educational Leadership.

Student intake: Scholars will leave campus with the understanding of “leadership styles, specific techniques they can implement, understand how to work with people with varied perspectives, and to feel comfortable with challenging the process.”

Class activities: All projects will be focused on group and self-building to understanding how to become a leader.

Aid in college: Leaders and Activists are applicable to any degree, but are especially helpful in an administrative position.

Final Presentation: Students will lead the final presentation.


Lost Cities and Civilizations:

Archaeology & the Ancient World

Instructor: Dr. Jeb Card, as Assistant Professor of Anthropology handles three classes each semester with total of 130 students. He is very hands on with designing courses, aiding students with research, etc.

Responsibilities: Besides his teaching duties, Dr. Card is the “go-to for (Miami’s) larger anthropology teaching laboratory setup, and some… physical and historical collections.” These include the new virtual museum and 3D printer, to look for soon, which is a part of the technology activities that Card is aiding in, but also the about 10,000 varying artifacts he is charged with as a part-time administrative employee.

Students practice excavating a site.–Scott Kissell/ conributed  

Reason for the Course: Letting interested students experience handling artifacts, lab equipment, and solving the mysteries of the past.

Students Learn: Scholars will be encouraged to view the world as a whole to find “common legac(ies)”. They will use science, evidence collection, trial and error to come to their own conclusions about the world.

Activities: Students will do anything from: 3D scanning and printing, read hieroglyphs, play ancient games, discover lineage, go through the processes of an excavation, and many more.

Success in the future: Besides the obvious scientist/scholar, studying anthropology will help in any major to understand the people around you.

Final Presentation: Students will be encouraged to bring a creative presentation based on what they learn in the module.


Why Do We Need Superheroes: Antiquity and Today

Instructor: Dr. Zara Torlone is a professor of Classics at Miami university. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1999.

Students learn about the importance of heroes.

Inspiration: Course is based on “Greeks and Roman literature and art,” compared to modern day heroes.

Focus: Trying to discover the difference between heroes now and in the past

Projects: Students were required to participate in discussions, writing, and listen to lectures.

Final Presentation: The final presentation can not be revealed at this point.

Note: All information for this write-up came from Miami’s official Summer Scholars pages. 


Nahja Glenn: Track, Field, and Fashion… oh my!

Mt. Healthy
Both of the Glenn siblings attend/ed Mt. Healthy

Nahja Glenn, a 17-year-old at Mt. Healthy High School, participates on the school track team. At the last Southwestern Ohio Conference, she placed 13th in the 300 IM hurdles—her personal best at the conference. In order to prepare for track she trains all year doing everything from, push/sit-ups, calf-lifts, and morning runs. Glenn’s passions are split between track and fashion. She hopes to run in college and find scholarship support for her sport. She may even join older brother, Kenny Glenn, at Miami, where he is a Sprints/Jumps. This is Glenn’s second year in the Summer Scholars’ fashion design module, and she enjoys the hands-on learning. She can’t wait for everyone to see her dress. While she “had a little trouble with the (sewing) machine” Glenn believes she has improved since last year. In the future she wishes to join accounting and fashion to hold a job in both fields of interest.


Isatu Barry: Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now

Isatu Barry’s eyes lit up as she described her home. Her arms raising, hands splayed as she heaves a sigh about the beautiful beaches and mountains of her home country, Sierra Leone–  a small country in western Africa.

Isatu Barry, originally from Sierra Leone, still misses family there. — Photo from United Nation site.

Sierra Leone is considered a third world country, but Barry remembers life being peaceful. As a young girl she lived with family members as her parents left for America. Barry told me about the two aunts who raised her, walking to school in her uniform everyday, and described the moonrise over the pointed mountains. Near her home there was a place where the sea met the river. “On one side you could be in the freshwater pool, or you could be in the saltwater, or even in the middle with both.” Nearby was a shack to cook food caught on either side. That is the Sierra Leone Barry remembers and loves.

Isatu Barry joins fellow Summer Scholars at the Cincinnati Zoo. _- contributed photo.

Barry ended up at the Miami Summer Scholars Program in a more roundabout way than others. After leaving Sierra Leone she moved to Brooklyn with her mother where she had man cultural bumps to get over, such as almost taking a sip of pine sol after mistaking the bottle for lime juice. From there they recently settled in Columbus, Ohio. Barry recognizes her increased opportunities here, but still misses one thing. “Family,” she says, “(I had) a sense of belonging”. Family was a very integral part of her culture, so she misses the people she left at home as well as the ones she sees less frequently here in America. One of the many reasons she is taking free/fair trade. In the future Barry would like to teach English in a foreign country, join an embassy, and one day become a diplomat.



Personal Essay

“Are you sure?” my mother asked the first time I told her about the program. She asked me the same question after I assured her it was alright to leave but I truly didn’t know. However, I now feel more assured in what I want to do in college and how to reach that goal. No one we met had allowed a traditional path. In fact, there is no right and true path. There is only hard work, dedication, and flexibility.

No media field is set in stone. You may start in film, move to newspaper, or magazines, and then be moved online. We spoke to Ellie Conley who went from working on editorial, to marketing, and again to an editorial job. She did this by always knowing her end goal—what she could do and what she wanted.

Communication, that was the underlying theme of the module. Not just communicating to the readers or to the public. Keeping in touch with others in the field to remain relevant. Over half of the people we talked to in the module had received their job through a contact they had known. Part of this came from the dedication, being kind and working hard no matter where you are or who your talking, to can bring amazing opportunities in the end.