Volume 4, Number 1; March 2012
Texas Tech Students of Integrated Scholarship
Written and produced by Bob Smith, Rachel Pierce, and Scott Irlbeck
Photography by Neal Hinkle and Melissa Wofford
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
—George Barnard Shaw (1856-1950)
Inspired by the All Things Texas Tech (ATTT) series on Integrated Scholars (Smith, 2009; Smith and Allen, 2010A; Smith, et al., 2011), we turn our attention to students who, akin to many faculty members, are flourishing as they pursue a course of lifelong learning through self-study and scholarly engagement both within and external to the campus environs.
To those new ATTT readers who are unfamiliar with the Integrated Scholar concept, we consider the metaphor of the “triple threat” – i.e., in football, the player who excels in running, kicking, and passing; in the performing arts, artists who are outstanding at acting, dancing, and singing. Similarly, Integrated Scholars are academicians who distinguish themselves in teaching, research, and service. The three functions also allow Integrated Scholars to generate synergy, strengthening their every effort.
Recognizing that the triple threat metaphor and the criteria of the Integrated Scholar model may not apply completely to students, we nevertheless believe that the partnership model for student learning (Smith, 2011A)—where students work collaboratively with faculty members, other students, and members of society—has tremendous potential for advancement both personally and professionally. The Integrated Scholarship model we see for students also embraces modes of active learning (Smith, 2011B; Bailey and Smith, 2011; Smith, 1998; Smith and Allen, 2010B), including:
- Service learning and internships
- Undergraduate and graduate research
- Study-abroad experiences and learning
Moreover, we suggest that when students adopt a commitment to lifelong learning, active learning, and integrated scholarship, a synergy among these efforts provides powerful benefits as future scholars, professionals, and leading citizens of our world community. The good news: Many Texas Tech students have already found the Integrated Scholar model, whether they are totally conscious of it or not. But, we hope that the student examples represented herein will help us further organize our thinking on the Integrated Scholar model and its application to the personal and professional development of students—undergraduates and graduates, alike.
Meet the 2012 Students of Integrated Scholarship
Having reviewed the principles relevant to Students of Integrated Scholarship, we have chosen to spotlight ten of Texas Tech’s outstanding undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate professional students. They are:
One might say Jordan Wallace has an enterprising mind. Driven by his interests in numbers and in the intricacies of commerce, Wallace studied at the Rawls College of Business. Along the way, he helped his father with renovation projects and worked for several contractors, experiences that motivated Wallace to learn about sustainable building practices and extend his education into the area of architecture. Additionally, an internship with Lee Lewis Construction allowed Wallace to learn the ins and outs of building the new Rawls College and provided an opportunity for him to learn more about the business, in general. Despite his busy schedule, Wallace has dedicated time to helping several nonprofits, and in 2011 he formed his own organization to benefit the Children's Miracle Network and the neonatal clinic inside University Medical Center. (Learn more about Jordan Wallace)
Alyssa Ingrum stands apart from many of her peers in the College of Education. Admittedly, she never had aspirations of becoming a teacher when she was a young girl. Instead, the idea came to her in a dream, and she was moved by the fulfillment that could be achieved in special education. Fast-forward about four years later, and Ingrum is now a student-teacher at Bean Elementary in central Lubbock, where she works with special-needs children. Coming to the aid of others who are less fortunate, Ingrum and her friends through the nonprofit Project H2O have been raising money to build wells that provide clean drinking water to people in Africa. Ingrum also supports community service efforts undertaken by her sorority and represents her college as a senator in the Student Government Association. (Learn more about Alyssa Ingrum)
Keisha McKenzie enjoys working with words, learning about society, and connecting with people. It's no wonder then that McKenzie was able to fuse these interests into her research in the area of technical communication and rhetoric. McKenzie, who is originally from the UK, analyzed documents used by the British government to justify the war in Iraq, and she wrote of her findings in her dissertation. Earlier in her graduate school career, McKenzie traveled to Washington, DC, to work with the House Judiciary Committee as part of Texas Tech's Government and Public Service program. Aside from her scholarly work, McKenzie works on report writing, editing, and grant applications as a staff member with the TTU Ethics Center. She has worked for the Office of the Provost at Texas Tech since 2006. McKenzie also supports the Seventh-day Adventist Church, occasionally contributing to denominational magazines and advocating on behalf of sexual minorities within the community. (Learn more about Keisha McKenzie)
For a number of reasons, Suzanne Taylor isn't your typical second-year law student. She didn't grow up aspiring to be an attorney, but instead she felt a calling to learn the law. Fostering an open-minded approach has served to enrich Taylor's experiences. Aside from her studies, she has taken part in the law school's advocacy programs as well as secured internships and employment in the public sector. She serves as a mentor for undergraduate women in the Sigma Phi Lamba sorority and, along with her husband, teaches Sunday school. (Learn more about Suzanne Taylor)
For Levelland native John Duff, agriculture has been key to both professional and personal endeavors. Duff pursued his studies in agribusiness because of his father. “My dad’s a farmer, and a farmer is equal parts businessman and agriculturalist, so I thought agribusiness was a natural choice,” he said. Duff’s interest in agriculture allowed him to excel academically and to apply his knowledge through several internships. Outside of the classroom, Duff has been involved with the South Plains Food Bank’s organic farming program. (Learn more about John Duff)
Taylor Fields has always had an eye for fashion. “My mother tells stories of me at age three that I could accessorize my outfit with matching socks, shoes, handbag, and sunglasses,” she said. Fields followed her style senses to Texas Tech, where she majored in retail management as an undergraduate and will begin her graduate studies in the fall. While earning her bachelor’s degree, Fields interned with a Houston-based fashion designer and studied abroad in Paris, London, Madrid, and Barcelona. Her research for a class project also led Fields to form a business that provides game-day apparel for Texas Tech fans. Capping off her accomplishments, Fields served as president of Tech Retail Association, a professional organization for students interested in retail management. (Learn more about Taylor Fields)
Communication design senior Laurel Moore has a zeal for the creative. While growing up, she occupied herself with crafts and art projects. Moore later developed an interest in the graphic arts and Texas Tech’s design program, wherein a defining period of her education was spent in Italy. Studying abroad surrounded Moore with the works of artistic masters she’d only read about. “It was amazing to see what I’d been learning,” she recalled. Coursework focused on service learning and membership in the Women’s Service Organization further lifted Moore’s experiences. (Learn more about Laurel Moore)
Ximena Solis-Wever, now studying medicine at TTUHSC, made a strong impression as a microbiology student in the College of Arts and Sciences. Not only committed to her coursework, Solis-Wever was also involved in undergraduate research since her freshman year. She worked in Professor Dimitri Pappas' lab and later wrote an honors senior thesis regarding oxygen deprivation of heart tissue cells for use in modeling heart attacks. Some of Solis-Wever's other work in Pappas' lab has been published in Analytical Chemistry, Lab on a Chip, and The Analyst. Giving back to her community, Solis-Wever has volunteered at the Lubbock Heart Hospital, South Plains Food Bank, and Christ the King Catholic Church, as well as tutored high school students. Also, Solis-Wever has volunteered with her father, a cardiologist, in providing medical attention to people in Guatemala. (Learn more about Ximena Solis-Wever)
Jane Ann Watson
French senior Jane Ann Watson began her college career studying geophysics. Yet her interest in the sciences could not compare to the admiration she held for the French language and culture. Watson had studied abroad in France during her senior year of high school, and the experience strengthened her language skills and broadened her worldview. She later changed her major to French, reimmersing herself in the subject and then returning to France to study abroad, this time as an undergraduate. As president of the TTU French Club, Watson helps to strengthen interest in the university's French program and promote an appreciation for the language through community events. (Learn more about Jane Ann Watson)
Christiana "Chana" Elgin
Active learning opportunities, from internships to community service commitments, have been central to Christiana "Chana" Elgin's education. The journalism senior completed two congressional internships as well as interned with several local and national media outlets. This semester she is based in Washington, DC, for her internship with CBS's 60 Minutes news program. Her participation in campus organizations is likewise impressive; Elgin has devoted time to more the 10 campus groups, including the Dean's Student Council. Giving back to her community, Elgin has volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Texas Children's Hospital, University Medical Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, and The Bridge of Lubbock. (Learn more about Christiana "Chana" Elgin)
We have a few words of advice for the engagement-oriented student or the faculty advisor wishing to emphasize with students the valuable experiences that can be gained through participation on campus and externally. Here are some points to consider from the TTU Office of the Provost:
- Broaden your learning opportunities.
- Find an area of study (or areas of study) interesting to you. Also, find a professor who challenges your preconceptions and has opened up new avenues of observation.
- Determine what scholarly contributions might result from your studies. Additionally, your hobbies and extracurricular interests could affect this answer.
- Join a student organization on campus or create a local chapter of a national organization.
We have reviewed the key characteristics of an Integrated Scholar and related applicable principles to ten Students of Integrated Scholarship. Additionally, we have offered some valuable advice for organizing one’s thinking about Integrated Scholarship. Our hope is that may have helped other members of our academic community further organize their thinking on the integrated scholar model and its application to the personal and professional development of students—undergraduates and graduates, alike.
Let us know what you think, either through email or snail mail. If you craft a thought-provoking piece, we will consider it for publication in a future edition of ATTT. Ideas and suggestions are welcome and may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bailey, Guy and Bob Smith. “Undergraduate Research: A Core Element of Texas Tech’s Movement to Tier One.” All Things Texas Tech 3 (1) 2011; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2011/02/undergrad-research.php.
Smith, Bob. “Integrated Scholars: You Will Find Many at Texas Tech.” All Things Texas Tech, 1 (2) 2009; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2009/09/integratedscholar.php.
Smith, Bob. “Are Students Customers? Many Factors Should Inform Our Judgment.” All Things Texas Tech 3 (1) 2011A; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2011/02/students-customers.php.
Smith, Bob. “Service Learning and Internships: The Third Component of Active Learning.” All Things Texas Tech 3 (2) 2011B; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2011/09/service_learning.php.
Smith, Bob and Katie Allen. “Texas Tech Integrated Scholars 2010.” All Things Texas Tech 2 (2) 2010A; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2010/09/integratedscholars.php.
Smith, Bob and Katie Allen. “Studying Abroad—Is it Worth it?” All Things Texas Tech 2 (2) 2010B; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2010/09/studyabroad.php.
Smith, Bob, Katie Allen and Scott Irlbeck. “Texas Tech Integrated Scholars 2011.” All Things Texas Tech 3 (2) 2011; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2011/09/integratedscholars.php.
Smith, R. V. Graduate Research: A Guide for Students in the Sciences. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998.
About the Authors
Bob Smith serves as provost and senior vice president, and professor of chemistry at Texas Tech University.
Rachel Pierce and Scott Irlbeck are senior editors of research and academic communications at Texas Tech University.