Most of those days she spent helping rehabilitate foxes, coyotes, snakes, lizards and other critters with the Pine View Rehabilitation and Education Center in Fredonia, Wisconsin.
Twice a month, she spent helping out at a veterinary clinic helping doing checks on pregnant cows.
All summer she was further strengthening her skills in biology and using what she learned in her classes at St. Cloud State University to ask deeper, probing questions.
Lange returned this fall for her second year at St. Cloud State. As a first year student she earned excellent grades and made connections through the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Academic Collaboration and Coordination Model to Ensure Student Success in STEM (ACCESS STEM) scholarship program, which, in addition to helping fund their education, connected 23 new entering first year students through cohort-building activities including a first-year seminar, retreats, scholar meetings and social networking through pizza parties throughout the year.
Having such events for the ACCESS STEM scholars helped the students to connect quickly with others who share the same interests, and early connections with faculty helped the scholars get questions answered about credit transfers and what else they needed to do to prepare, Lange said.
“I’ve made lots of good friends through the scholarship,” she said. “Those connections helped me get adjusted to college life easier, and the scholarship took away the worry about needing a job to help pay for school. You could just concentrate on your studies.”
During the tenure of the grant, the NSF-funded ACCESS STEM program will provide scholarships and support to 100 students with demonstrated financial need including Pell grant-eligible students at St. Cloud State and three Minnesota State community colleges to support students pursuing STEM majors.
St. Cloud State welcomed 24 new ACCESS STEM scholars to campus this fall.
In her first-year classes, Lange found that women were well represented, but added that some other female ACCESS STEM scholars found themselves as the only woman in some of their classes. ACCESS STEM helped them connect with female STEM students outside of class.
In addition to her studies, she has found connections as a student athlete on the soccer field, in University Honors, and through the Student Ambassador program.
“It’s a lot to juggle,” she said of her activities. “I like being busy. So it’s fun.”
Lange’s interest in biology arises from her childhood interest in being outside, hiking on the Appalachian Trail and seeing firsthand the need for conservation. Her goal is to pursue a career in conservation.
This fall she will represent the ACCESS STEM program and St. Cloud State at the S-STEM symposium in Washington D.C. where she’ll learn more about careers in her field and network.
Next fall, St. Cloud State will welcome the first cohort of ACCESS STEM transfer scholars from its community college partners in the grant.
What is ACCESS STEM?
ACCESS STEM is a scholarship program funded by the National Science Foundation that provides scholarships and support to students with demonstrated financial need including Pell grant-eligible students at St. Cloud State and three Minnesota State community colleges to support students pursuing STEM majors.
The grant will support at least 100 academically high-achieving students with demonstrated financial need. More than 40 of whom are receiving a four-year scholarship of up to $9,000 per year while attending St. Cloud State and about 60 who are receiving a two-year scholarship of up to $7,500 while attending an ACCESS community college — Anoka-Ramsey Community College, St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC) and Ridgewater College and an additional two-year scholarship if they attend St. Cloud State to pursue a four-year degree in STEM.