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CMU summer learning 2017

CMU Chippewas fire up summer learning

Thousands of CMU students use the season to immerse and learn


​Graduate student Gary Michaud spent his summer on Beaver Island, knee deep in Lake Michigan with nets and whitefish, while junior Lily Ten Eyck spent three weeks excavating a Paleo-Indian site in northern New Hampshire. 

The summer months are often action-packed for Central Michigan University students, who continue to learn and grow by studying abroad, conducting research and gaining hands-on experience through internships. Additionally, 5,188 undergrad and graduate students took classes this summer— online, on campus and at satellite locations across the U.S.

Here's a sampling of how some CMU students spent their summer.

Research in action

Jennifer Peacock, a McNair Scholar and first-generation college student, spent her summer researching the needs of first-generation college students. She also worked as an intern for CMU's Volunteer Center, focused on improving the Alternative Breaks program.

Kirsten Weber, associate professor of communication, and Jeremy Heinlein, a communication graduate student, looked at how participation in the Unified Sports program changes the way people see those with intellectual disabilities. They found that passing the ball and shooting baskets with people who have intellectual disabilities changes perceptions and stigmas.

Research is ongoing at the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island where CMU biology students are solving the mystery of disappearing lake whitefish and studying the level of chipmunk watchfulness on and off Beaver Island. And following the discovery earlier this year that baby lake trout in the lab feast on the invasive bloody red shrimp, biology students studying this summer at the station probed whether that holds true in the wild.

Putting skills and expertise to work

Real-world experiences put what students learn in the classroom to the test each summer.

A group of six CMU engineering students traveled to California to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers' annual Baja SAE California competition. CMU finished 19th out of 92 schools from around the world.

Junior Lily Ten Eyck turned up plenty of discoveries this summer through her internship with the state archaeologist of New Hampshire. 

Clinics and centers across campus help students to learn — and make an impact — right on campus.

Top CMU psychology experts and researchers supervised clinical psychology doctoral students who are training at the Psychological Training and Consultation Center by treating clients from the university and throughout mid-Michigan. 

Teachers in CMU's Child Development and Learning Laboratory used their training in the Brazelton Touchpoints approach to make meaningful connections with 3- and 4-year-old students and their families.

The Central Autism Treatment Center offered hands-on clinical experience for CMU undergraduate and graduate students while addressing Michigan's need for more certified service providers.

Expanding worldviews

Throughout the summer, 476 CMU Chippewas studied abroad.

Fourteen students traveled to rural New Zealand to focus on personal growth and leadership.

CMU senior Ashley Blackburn crafted an internship abroad where she worked with skulls and early human tools at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Engaging children and teens through learning

The university hosts many events, camps and conferences each year for children and high school students — many of which involve CMU students as mentors.

Twenty-four CMU students — many of them teacher education majors — served as mentors at Camp Central, an annual summer science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning experience for Michigan middle school students on CMU's campus.

Five CMU students created a sweet way for kindergarten through seventh-grade children to develop their reading skills with the help of Willy Wonka at a Summer Reading Clinic.

CMU College of Medicine faculty, staff and students engaged with high school students interested in the medical field at CMU's CampMed, teaching them the ropes of medical school and college life and allowing them to take part in medical simulations.

Other programs that engaged children and teens on campus included:

  • Pre-College Summer Scholars, a new program aimed at motiving young students to pursue engineering degrees to keep up with the demand of Michigan industries.
  • CMU's third annual Girls in STEM Conference, which brought young women from around the Midwest to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Grandparents University, a three-day summer camp that brings generations together for fun and wonder.
  • A Drum Major and Color Guard Camp for high school students.
  • The CMU's Museum of Cultural and Natural History's Curious Curator program, which taught fifth- and sixth-grade students how to handle museum artifacts.
  • Various summer camps that taught middle schoolers and others how to build drones, make instruments, bring robots to life and discover the science of "wizardry."

Want to share your summertime highlights and achievements? Email to tell us your story. 

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