By Michelle Chen
The core of the Clark Scholars Program is one summer, an entire seven weeks, when you know that you will be supported in every aspect. Everyone supports each other in being themselves—and with each student working in a different field, from different places in the world, and either a junior or senior, unique interests are revealed and then embraced without question. Whether it be in Greek classics, design, neurobiology, mathematics, or electronic engineering, each student discovers his or her own niche and is provided with the guidance and resources necessary to allow their passions to bloom.
But it’s not simply those research interests that are emphasized throughout the program. The secondary passions are cultivated as well, through the weekly seminars led by professors tailored to our requests. These range dramatically from a discussion of black holes, and the creation of devices that could accurately destroy moving tumors, to a comprehensive overview of art history from antiquity to Dadaism, including the urinal and the edited Mona Lisa.
That is not all. Each weekend, the Clark Scholars journey to a new site to learn more about the history of each notable location. Our itinerary included Roaring Springs, the site of a past Native American campground and major outpost; the American Wind Power Museum, full of historic windmill designs over the years; and the Lubbock Lake Landmark, where remains have been found from human life over 10 thousand years ago. Each trip is inspired not only by the love of knowledge, but also by the opportunity to bond all together in one group, a chance that all of us seize to know each other even more closely than before.
And that brings me to my last point. Yes, you will befriend mentors, professors, and advisors who will introduce you to academic fields you would never have expected to explore. And yes, you will be able to conduct research into those passions that you may have cultivated for years, or just discovered. But most importantly, you will meet the other eleven scholars as well as the chaperone. It's like we have known each other for years, all brought together to forge a new beginning. We find ourselves caught in an unbreakable bond, building the strongest of friendships with people you thought you would never meet. And it is this closeness, this understanding, and this confidence that makes parting so bittersweet. Prepare yourselves for something beautiful.