Summer Academic and Honors Institute
ONU’s Summer Academic and Honors Institute helps high school students find their path.
When she was a high school sophomore, Charis Kasler thought it might be interesting to take a summer course on ONU’s campus. The forensics course proved to be “amazing,” she says.
“We weren’t sitting in a lecture hall listening to a doctor drone on and on,” she explained. Instead, she and her classmates were treated to an interactive and fascinating week. They explored forensics, toxicology and anthropology alongside ONU professors. They visited a pig farm to conduct investigations on deceased pigs. They became detectives on a mock crime scene, taking photographs, gathering evidence, running lab tests and developing conclusions.
By the end of the week, Kasler knew exactly what she wanted to do with her future.
If you are not 100 percent sure what you want to do with your career or even what you want to major in, ONU’s summer program will give you a chance to explore that.
This summer marks the 13th Summer Academic and Honors Institute (SAHI) at ONU. Designed for gifted high school students in grades nine-12, the program allows students to explore STEM and other subjects. ONU professors and guest lecturers teach the courses, which are designed to be hands-on and fun. This year, SAHI is hosting 12 challenging courses during the month of June in art design, astronomy and physics, forensic science, human anatomy, technology, chemistry, engineering, sport science, pharmacy, and theatre. Students receive one transferable college credit hour after completing a course.
Brendan Graziano, a double major in chemistry and physics at ONU, took a chemistry course at SAHI when he was in high school. A self-described “science nerd,” he loved the chance to dive into a subject that he liked. “It was amazing to spend the entire day doing JUST chemistry,” he says. “High school is more about getting a general taste of everything, so SAHI showed me that college is about honing our focus on the subject you find most interesting.”
While attending SAHI, Graziano enjoyed conducting experiments in the lab and the evening social activities with his classmates who hailed from many different area high schools. He was impressed by the genuine interest that ONU professors showed toward the students. Ultimately, this is why ONU became his college choice. “At SAHI, I discovered the true passion for education that ONU professors have,” he says. “It was something I found to be unparalleled in my later college search.”
Kasler, a chemistry major at ONU, says her experience at SAHI also steered her toward ONU. Before the summer course, ONU wasn’t even on her radar. But she discovered she liked the small school environment, individual attention and research opportunities that ONU offered.
Now approaching the end of her first year on campus, Kasler is involved in the Association of Future Forensic Professionals, Habitat for Humanity, the Society of Medical Professionals and The Unit. She plans to attend medical school after receiving her undergraduate degree. She urges high school students who are contemplating SAHI to give it a try. “SAHI has benefits for all kinds of students,” she says. “I never regretted attending.”
Graziano also encourages high school students to attend. “Why not?” he says. “It’s like enrolling in that major for a week and sampling what it would be like without any of the risks. SAHI can help influence your college career and beyond.”