Summer Scholars Program Kicks Off 30th Anniversary Year with 330 of Missouri’s Brightest High School Students

Jeff Sossamon
News Source: 
MU News Bureau

COLUMBIA, Mo. – This summer, the University of Missouri hosts the 30th gathering of the Missouri Scholars Academy (MSA). During the program, approximately 330 Missouri high school students will have the opportunity to participate in the comprehensive educational experience that, the end of the summer, will boast more than 9,500 alums.

“This is a special year for MSA because we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the program,” said Ted Tarkow, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science and co-director of MSA. “We are so proud of all of the students who have come through this program and continue to do great things in their collegiate and post-collegiate careers. We believe that students come to MSA to get an educational experience like no other and leave with friends and memories that last a lifetime.”

MSA began in 1985 and provides students unique opportunities to expand their educational and social skills. This year, from June 8 – June 28, students will spend their days in intensive classroom settings, studying one of four individually selected subjects, including mathematics, science, social studies and humanities. Each Missouri high school is allowed to nominate one junior-to-be for the academy; larger schools may nominate more. Nearly every county in the state is represented.

Outside the classroom, students participate in a series of activities, workshops and discussions by guest speakers. Students will learn from experts in diverse fields such as aeronautical engineering, global warming and autism. Speakers and performers include Linda Godwin, a former astronaut and current professor of physics at MU; jazz artist Eugene Lowry; and hypnotist Tom Thale. Along with speakers and performances, students will take field trips to the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Mo., and attend a concert performance by the Missouri Symphony Society orchestra.

MSA participants are among the top 1 percent of Missouri students academically. Tarkow says individuals who attend the academy leave with the understanding that they have a responsibility to share their talents with others for the betterment of their local Missouri communities. Many MSA alumni participate in programs such as Teach for America, Peace Corps or other nonprofit organizations. MSA alumni also continue to succeed academically. Of those who are old enough, 98 percent of Academy alumni have graduated from high school, 90 percent have graduated from college and nearly 2,500 alumni have earned graduate or professional degrees.

Funding for the 2014 MSA is provided by the University of Missouri, the state of Missouri and individual schools and organizations from students’ hometowns.

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