Sophomore morale to RISE with luncheon lecture series

Lauren Klein

Second-year students might experience a phenomenon known as the “Sophomore Slump.” This refers to the tendency for grades to slip and attitudes to drop as students enter their sophomore year.

This slump has caused the Iowa Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs to partner together to present the program “RISE: Reigniting the Sophomore Experience.”

RISE is a workshop series hosted twice a week for multicultural students. This series gives multicultural students the chance to eat a complimentary lunch and listen to faculty, staff and peers present on topics such as studying abroad, writing resumes and undergraduate research opportunities.

Students will also have the opportunity to interact with staff and have their questions answered. The workshop topics were chosen by multicultural students through an email survey.

RISE was designed to help second-year students continue to receive support and to connect with peers and staff.

Adele Lozano, program coordinator for Multicultural Student Affairs, said she believes the focus is on first-year students but that it’s important for continuing students to stay connected.

“When students are connected, they are more likely to persist,” Lozano said.

Iowa Experimental Program will be providing the funding for RISE, and its faculty and staff members will be attending the lectures.

According to its website, Iowa Experimental Program “is a federal program designed to improve the research capacity of eligible states.”

Chitra Rajan, associate vice president for Research and Economic Development, said she hopes RISE will help multicultural students get involved in undergraduate research.

“Studies have shown that undergraduate research experiences is one of the most effective ways to attract students into advanced degree programs in STEM disciplines,” Rajan said. “So I hope that we can convince our [multicultural] students to take advantage of such opportunities with our [Experimental Experimental Program] faculty and others at ISU.”

While Iowa Experimental Program is geared toward STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — students, Lozano said she would like students to know RISE is for multicultural students of all majors.

RISE kicks off at 12:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, in the Multicultural Room of the Memorial Union.

The topic being discussed is “Study Abroad: What YOU Need to Know.” Christine Gemignani, associate director of the Study Abroad Center will be presenting. There will also be study abroad student advisers present to answer questions as well.

The program is scheduled to continue every Tuesday and Friday through Dec. 6, focusing on a different topic each session.

Any student wishing to attend should RSVP through Multicultural Student Affairs.