Friday, March 31, 2017

Welcome Back, YellowJacket Alumni!

It's that time again! This weekend, LeTourneau University will welcome hundreds to campus in celebration of our Homecoming & Family Weekend. Jamie DeYoung and her staff have planned another great event, and all of our alumni, students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

This year, we are celebrating LeTourneau University's 60th anniversary of aviation education, and we also will honor the Class of 1967 into our Golden Jackets, who are graduates of 50+ years. Our chapel speaker Friday will be 1983 aviation alumnus Dave Fyock, an executive vice president at Mission Aviation Fellowship. He will be speaking about missions aviation.  

The Hootenanny Tailgate & Patio Party will feature live music, inflatables, and other games and activities from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday on the Allen Family Student Center patio.

Over 500 tickets have already been sold for the 52nd annual Hootenanny variety show. "iHoot" will begin at 7 p.m. Friday in the Belcher Center.  Tickets cost $5 and will be on sale at the door if you haven't already gotten yours. It should be a fun and memorable show. Look for my cinematic debut.  

The weather Saturday is forecast to be sunny: a great day for bringing your families to campus for the Inter-Society Rope Pull at 10:30 a.m. 

Those who already have purchased tickets can enjoy the Picnic at the Pond from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Others can bring their own picnic lunches. 

One of my favorite events is the annual Cardboard and Duct Tape Boat Races which will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the pond. This is where we are reminded that LETU is a community of builders.

LETU YellowJackets baseball will take on the University of Dallas at 1 p.m. at the baseball field.

The Alumni vs. varsity soccer game will begin at 2 p.m. on the soccer field at the Joyce Family Athletic Village. 

If you are interested in aviation, you won't want to miss R.G. LeTourneau historian Dale Hardy when he gives his presentation about R.G. and his airplanes at 3 p.m. in the Berry Auditorium in the Glaske Center. 

A materials joining demonstration will showcase our students' work in a creative exhibition at 4 p.m. in the Kielhorn Welding Lab.

Happy 60th to LeTourneau Aviation and welcome back all alumni and family!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Front-Page Props: JAMP & World Map Project

Twice in this week alone, LeTourneau University has been featured on the front page of the Longview News-Journal for some of the great things our students are doing.

On Monday, two of our students were featured for their acceptance in the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP). This program provides joint admission into medical school for these students while they are still undergraduates at LETU.

The students, sophomore biology major Seth Mattson and junior biology major Keren Engulu, have internship opportunities during their summer months at two of nine medical schools in Texas, an opportunity that will give them a definite advantage as they identify which medical school to choose once they complete their undergraduate degrees at LETU.

Seth was recently accepted into the program this year and will do his first internship this summer. Keren was admitted to JAMP last year and will complete her second summer internship this summer.

The competition for the JAMP program is considerable. Only 100 of about 600 applicants from across the state are selected.  Only the brightest students across the state qualify for this kind of opportunity. Dr. Greg Frederick is our JAMP faculty advisor, and since his arrival a few years ago, we have had 100% acceptance rate into this program. That is a claim few other schools can make. 
Dr. Frederick also reports that 100% of our traditional biology graduates who have applied for admission into medical school in the last two years have been accepted. That is another claim few other schools can make. Kudos to Dr. Frederick and these fine students.

On Wednesday, our international students were featured painting a 30-foot playground mural of a world map, alongside 4th through 7th grade students from Trinity Schools of Texas here in Longview.

The painting project provided cultural connections with the students and follows several classroom visits during which time our international shared about their homelands, their heritage and their cultures. 

The effort was designed to expand the worldview of many of the elementary and middle school students, so that when they see a world map or hear of news from other countries, they will remember that they may have met someone from there.

Rebecca Haesecke, our director of international engagement and development, organized the event that featured 16 international students participating. Kudos to her for leading this initiative. This was the third time that she has led LETU international students to participate in this world map painting project with school children. The first was at South Ward elementary school in 2013. The second was at the Boys & Girls Club parking lot. 

These kinds of cultural experiences, both for our international students and for the local school children, provide unimagined benefits for the future.

Speaking with LNJ reporter Meredith Shamburger, left, are from left, Dr. Greg Frederick, biology junior Keren Ungulu and biology sophomore Seth Mattson.

LETU international students and Trinity School of Texas students partnered on a cultural exchange that resulted in a 30-foot world map on the TST playground.