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Eleven RCCC Students Report on Their Experiences as Noyce Summer Interns

October 4, 2014

Category: Academics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Students

A second cohort of Noyce Summer Interns report that their internship experiences were successfully completed. The 11 Rowan-Cabarrus Community College students applied and were accepted to participate in these paid summer Exploration Internships in a STEM occupation. The internships were complimented by a tuition-paid, three credit hour online Education Course through Catawba.

Funding for these internships comes from a $1.45 million grant that Catawba College received in October of 2013 from the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program of the National Science Foundation. That grant, the largest that Catawba had ever received, will provide five years of support for scholarships and internships that help prepare Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors for teaching careers.

The students, each of whom completed 175-200 hours of service during their summer internship, included:

  • Delanie Brown of Charlotte - Discovery Place in Charlotte
  • Jaquan Dozier, originally from Las Vegas, Nev., now residing in Charlotte - Discovery Place in Charlotte
  • Luke Gibson, originally from Columbus, Ohio, now residing in Mt. Pleasant - NCRC Duke Murdock Study
  • Damilare Ibitoye originally from Nigeria, Africa, now residing in Concord - RCCC Gaming Camp
  • Brandy Kegeris originally from Mississippi before Hurricane Katrina, now residing in Gold Hill - Horizons Unlimited
  • Jeremy Mason of Concord - Discovery Place in Charlotte
  • Erikc Perez Perez originally from Mexico; now residing in Midland - Rowan County Cooperative Extension Center
  • Mark Rothermund of Salisbury - Horizons Unlimited
  • Daisy Sanchez originally from Mexico, now residing in Concord - NCRC Duke Murdock Study
  • Daioosha Williams of Salisbury - Horizons Unlimited
  • Kristy Williams of Salisbury - Rowan County Cooperative Extension Center

The Catawba College Noyce Scholars project brings together Catawba with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) and the Rowan-Salisbury Schools to focus on the recruitment, preparation and retention of STEM majors in teaching careers. The project has three phases: Exploratory Internships, Scholarships, and Collegial Support Networks. It will prepare STEM educators in a broad range of disciplines (biology, chemistry, environmental science, or mathematics) who are capable of teaching at a variety of grade levels.


This diverse group of 11 RCCC students began their Exploration Internships with a May 29th orientation session in Catawba's Center for the Environment. That session was led by their online course instructor Dr. Cyndi Osterhus, a professor emerita of teacher education at Catawba. The students' summer online class, EDUC 2000: Introduction to Teaching and Educational Technology, began the first week of June and ran for three weeks. The course concluded with presentations by each intern.


"I am excited about a career in a STEM occupation," stated Delanie Brown who completed her internship at Discovery Place.

Jaquan Dozier said his internship allowed him "to learn ways to teach others," while Luke Gibson said his seemed to intensify his deep love of science.

Damilare Ibitoye prepared for the future during her exploration internship by practicing her 21st century skills.


Erikc Perez Perez summed up the experience by stating that the partnership with RCCC was a "marvelous opportunity to meet new people, learn new things and just have fun!"


The Noyce grant will ultimately provide paid internships for up to 60 freshman and sophomore students at RCCC to experience teaching and to recruit them to pursue a career in K-12 education. Eighteen upperclassmen who pursue a major in a STEM discipline and licensure in teaching at Catawba College will receive $18,000 scholarships in their junior and senior years of college.

Following graduation, these Noyce Scholars will be required to work for four years in a high-need school district as a condition of receiving the scholarship. During this time, they will receive funds to attend a state STEM education conference and to purchase classroom supplies.

The NSF grant is directed by Dr. Connie Rogers-Lowery, associate professor and chair of biology at Catawba. Others on the faculty team who collaborated on the grant proposal include from Catawba, Dr. Cyndi Osterhus and Dr. John Zerger, professor of mathematics; and from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Dr. Marcy Corjay, dean of science, biotechnology, mathematics, and information technologies.

The grant period began Oct. 1, 2012 and expires Sept. 30, 2017.

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