SWOSU Selected for Tech Trek Pilot Program


Dr. Lisa Appeddu, Dr. Andrea Holgado, Lori Gwyn, Provost Dr. Blake Sonobe

Among those involved in the award from SWOSU were (from left): Dr. Lisa Appeddu, associate professor, Department of Biological Sciences; Dr. Andrea Holgado, associate professor, Department of Biological Sciences; Dr. Lori Gwyn, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry and Physics; and SWOSU Senior Vice President and Provost Dr. Blake Sonobe.

The Weatherford branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has received word that Southwestern Oklahoma State University was selected to host one of five national pilot programs for a math and science camp for young women in middle school.

The camp, known as Tech Trek, is designed to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence in young women entering the eighth grade. SWOSU received a $10,000 grant to host the week-long science and math summer camp in 2013.

Tech Trek is AAUW’s hope to increase participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The university experience allows girls to see themselves seeking higher education and realizing the opportunities that come with a college degree.

Dr. Lisa Appeddu, associate professor in the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences, will serve as the camp director. Dr. Andrea Holgado, associate professor in the SWOSU Department of Biological Sciences, will serve as co-director and volunteer coordinator, and Dr. Lori Gwyn, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry & Physics, will also be a co-director and student/family coordinator. Other members of the SWOSU faculty and staff serving on the Tech Trek Camp staff will be Kathy O’Neal, student and family volunteer coordinator; Lynne Thurman, scholarship and fundraising coordinator; and Debbie Brown, social media coordinator.

Appeddu, Holgado and Gwyn were the grant investigators. The team is working to raise additional funds for the camp, so that girls can attend free of charge.

The Tech Trek camp started at Stanford University 14 years ago and previously had been held only on university campuses in the state of California. In addition to the camp at SWOSU, this pilot program will have camps at Bowling Green (OH) University, University of Central Florida, University of Texas at Tyler and Pacific Lutheran (WA) University.