Upward Bound Summer Camp Recap at Northwestern

August 8, 2019

Upward Bound Summer Camp

This summer’s Upward Bound campers, counselors and staff at Northwestern-Alva wrapped up their 12th annual summer camp on June 26. The program offers free one-on-one tutoring, ACT prep, academic advising, college tours and cultural field trips.  

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science students began their annual academic summer camp on the Alva campus May 26. This is the 12th year for the program.

The six-week camp finished on June 26; however, all students returned on July 7 to head to San Antonio, Texas, for a cultural field trip to explore the Alamo, Witt Museum, San Antonio River Walk, Natural Bridge Caverns and Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

The 82 students from Alva, Burlington, Cherokee, Aline-Cleo, Fairview, Ringwood, Timberlake and Waynoka attend classes Monday through Thursday in math, science, Spanish, English and language arts. These students will all be 9th through 12th graders in the fall.

This year, both programs received a one-time financial award to be used for STEM projects and learning experiences. The Upward Bound programs spent two days at NASA taking part in hands-on experiences with other Upward Bound students from across Oklahoma. The students also spent part of the day touring the University of Houston-Clear Lake, which is located just a few minutes from NASA.

The students also heard from motivational speaker/author Justin Aldridge, who trains people in leadership skills. Each student was gifted with Aldridge’s book titled “Leading with Love.”

Other STEM training took place two days a week on the Northwestern-Alva campus. Two instructors of computer science at Northwestern, Mark Bagley and Evan Vaverka, taught STEM classes during the regular summer academic camp, which involved Robotics and Computer Programming. 

“The students had an amazing time making new friendships and learning new material in their fun classes,” Jaunita Dotson, Upward Bound director, said. 

One example of their learning occurred in the English/Language Arts class taught by Tanya Phillips and Cindy Leiter.  The students read the book, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.”  The students were asked to construct model windmills based on what they had learned throughout the novel. They also completed several classroom presentations regarding certain events that occurred in the novel. The teachers noted that the students had a chance to collaborate with one another, which put each of them in a leadership role. 

This year’s counselors included Kentrez Bell, Kansas City, Missouri, sophomore; Kevin Cosper, Aline-Cleo, 2018 graduate; Qua’shawn Gray, Denison, Texas, 2019 graduate; Alisha Peterson, Fairview sophomore; Chloe Nutley, Elk City junior; and Michelle Willson, Conway Springs, Kansas, sophomore.

Teachers this year included:

  • Math -- Aaron Randall of Vici and Dakota Buckhaults, Alva
  • English – Tanya Phillips, Alva
  • Language Arts – Cindy Leiter, Alva
  • Science – Danielle Barnett and Kasey Adair of Alva
  • Spanish – Dana Manning of Alva and Francisco Martinez, Clearwater, Florida

This year’s staff included Darla Adams, project administrative assistant; Dotson; Tim Lavoie, past Upward Bound project coordinator; and Lee Ann Leist, Upward Bound Math and Science project coordinator.

The students stayed in university housing while on campus and ate their meals in Coronado Café.

For more information on Northwestern’s Upward Bound program, please contact Dotson at jrdotson@nwosu.edu or (580) 327-8113.


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist
eedavis@nwosu.edu; (580) 327-8486

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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