Summer Collaborative Outreach and Research Experience (SCORE)

Year 5: June 25-August 3, 2012


Our six-week summer program is part of an interdisciplinary and experiential approach to strengthen recruitment, retention, and training in natural sciences in post-Katrina New Orleans. Support from the Louisiana Board of Regents Post-Katrina Support Fund Initiative and Loyola University New Orleans will be used to do the following:

  • Form research teams consisting of Loyola faculty, undergraduates, and high school teachers. These collaborative teams are analogous to research groups found at larger research universities and, like these, our expectation is that a diverse range of perspectives, ideas, and experiences will enhance the discovery process. All team members will receive a weekly stipend.
  • Have faculty work closely with undergraduates to develop presentations for a capstone mini-symposium at the end of the summer research program, which will also help build scientific communication skills.
  • Offer a free summer statistics course so high school students who are strongly interested in careers in science can strengthen their quantitative skills through analysis, interpretation, and visualization of research data. Eligible high students will receive three hours of college credit for this course.
  • Provide high school students with a variety of research skills through weekly lectures and workshops with science faculty on Thursday afternoons.
  • Provide high school teachers, high school students, and undergraduates an opportunity to interact and learn about local ecosystems through weekly fieldtrips on Fridays.

This year's research teams

  • Dr. Kurt Birdwhistell's research team will use green chemistry principles to synthesize important organometallic species and study extraction of limonene (a green renewable material) from orange peels using subcritical water generated in a microwave. Learn more about Dr. Birdwhistell here.
  • Dr. Don Hauber's research team will study population genetics of the common reed from the Mississippi River delta and the Gulf Coast using DNA fingerprinting. Learn more about Dr. Hauber here.
  • Dr. Kim Mix's research team will study gene expression pathways related to the onset and progression of inflammatory joint disease in humans. Learn more about Dr. Mix here.
  • Dr. Jai Shanata's team will investigate the relationship between structure of drug molecules and their ability to change physical properties of cell membranes, thereby enabling design of more effective drugs. Learn more about Dr. Shanata here.
  • Dr. Thom Spence's research team will develop new digital signal processing algorithms to quantitatively detect molecules using infrared spectroscopy. The results of this research have application in remote detection of explosives and illicit substances. Learn more about Dr. Spence here.
  • Drs. Aimée K. Thomas and Frank Jordan will begin a long-term study of the flora and fauna of the Mississippi River batture, focusing on arthropod natural history and diversity. Learn more about Dr. Thomas here.
  • Dr. Bill Walkenhorst's team will investigate effects of pH and ionic strength on effectiveness of antibiotic peptides and their ability to kill a variety of microbes commonly found in nocosomial infections. Learn more about Dr. Walkenhorst here.

How to apply if you are a high school teacher or undergraduate

  • High school teachers interested in participating in SCORE should send a statement of interest and a resume to Frank Jordan.
  • Undergraduates interested in participating in SCORE should send a statement of interest, a recent resume, and a copy of your transcripts to Frank Jordan.
  • Undergraduates and high school teachers will receive a weekly stipend of $400 for engaging in research fulltime Monday through Thursday and participating in Friday fieldtrips.
  • Preference will be given to undergraduates who are majoring in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, or psychology.

How to apply if you are a high school student

  • SCORE accepts applications from high school students with a strong interest in science and mathematics. Download an application and send it to Admissions, Box 18, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. You may also fax the application to 504-865-2920.
  • Preference is given to students with demonstrated interest in science and mathematics. We accept applications from students currently in 11th grade, 12th grade, or recently graduated and about to begin college.
  • High school students will receive three hours of college credit for attending and completing a statistics course offered Monday through Thursday mornings 8:30-10:30 June 25-July 26. The course is free.
  • High school students will receive hands-on training in a variety of research skills every Thursday from 11-5 during SCORE.
  • High school students will participate in fieldtrips to local ecosystems every Friday during SCORE. There is no charge for these fieldtrips and lunch will be provided.