New College’s PUSH-SUCCESS Programs Teach Science to At-Risk Youth

(June 14, 2010) New College of Florida is holding the Preparing Unique Students for Healthcare (PUSH) career program for students in grades 9-11 and the Students United to Create Culturally and Educationally Successful Situations (SUCCESS) program for students in grades 6-8 from June 13 to June 26. This is the ninth year that the programs, aimed at disadvantaged rural and urban students interested in health-related careers, are being hosted at New College.

Students will participate in activities and discussions on topics such as oil spill ramifications, population genetics, insect rearing, sea urchin development, scientific method, beach clean-up, turtle tracking, basic statistics, team-building and conflict resolution, nutrition, and basic computer programming. Students will work on projects in New College’s 10,000 square foot Pritzker Marine Biological Research Center, which houses more than 90 aquaria and features student and faculty research laboratories, as well as in Sarasota Bay.

Drs. Elzie McCord and Sandra Gilchrist, biology professors at New College of Florida, have taught the PUSH/SUCCESS program for the past eight years. Dr. Karsten Henckell, professor of mathematics and computer science, will join them for the first time this year.

“We’ve added another faculty member this year, Dr. Henckell, who will be working with students on creative and critical thinking skills through puzzles and games. We’re also going to add in some information on the oil spill because it’s topical,” said Gilchrist about this year’s program. “For many of the students involved, the program will help give them the skills, confidence and information they need to improve their grades and apply for college.”

Students from Sarasota and Manatee counties complete an application including an essay and a recommendation from one of their teachers for consideration of the program. On June 26 at the PUSH/SUCCESS graduation, each student will make a presentation about what they have learned and receive a certificate of participation as well as a stipend.

New College of Florida is a national leader in the arts and sciences and is the State of Florida’s designated honors college for the liberal arts. Ranked No. 5 in the nation among all public colleges and universities by (“America’s Best Colleges”, 2009 edition), New College attracts highly motivated, academically talented students from 40 states and 25 foreign countries.

For more information, please contact New College Public Affairs at (941) 487-4154 or email

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