Clark Scholars Summer Program Escape Room
It was amazing to see how well a group of 10 students who had never met before could become so close in just a few short weeks.

Name: Lauren Losin

Major: Bioengineering

Can you share a description of the experience? Myself and my fellow Cohort 1 member, Andrew Green, staffed the first ever Clark Scholars Summer Program.  Over two weeks we were able to mentor and engage with Cohort 2 as they took Chem135 and Computational Thinking Workshops.  Also, we were also able to go on fun day trips with Cohort 2 to the Baltimore Aquarium, a National's Game, Annapolis to go sailing, to an Escape Room in DC, and more! 

What was the most impactful part of the experience? I really appreciated being able to facilitate some of the first interactions that Cohort 2 would have with each other.  Knowing that this program built relationships that will last throughout Cohort 2's four years at UMD and beyond was really exciting for me.  I also enjoyed sharing my insight on freshman year and serving as a mentor, both academically and socially for Cohort 2. 

What surprised you? If I didn't just meet Cohort 2, I would have thought that they had been friends for years.  It was amazing to see how well a group of 10 students who had never met before could become so close in just a few short weeks. 

Did you make any personal connections with your peers, industry professionals, faculty or staff? I was always friends with Andrew because we are part of Cohort 1 together, but being able to staff the summer program with him made us closer.  I had a great time interacting with Andrew outside of a school environment where we commonly interacted freshman year.  I enjoyed staffing the program with Andrew because it made us both better leaders and better friends!

What were your major takeaways? What did you learn? I learned that in order to be successful in a group, it is important to have a good social dynamic.  As part of the Clark Scholars program, the cohorts have to work with one another to be successful academically and with our service project.  To do this, it is important that everyone gets to know each other on a more personal level first so that the group dynamic is one of comfort and friendliness.  The summer program did a great job of acquainting everyone with one another before getting down to business during the school year. 

Have your career or academic goals changed as a result of this experience? This program made me realize that I want to be involved in more mentorship roles while on campus.  I enjoyed getting give advice and act as a role model for Cohort 2 while also becoming their friend.