Profiles of Excellence, in their own words...

Mindy L. Mayes

Posted: November 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

What year did you graduate?
Where are you from?
Emporia, VA
What was your major?
Biology Pre Professional, Chemistry Minor
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Yes, Master of Pubilc Health (Go IU)
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Well for some odd reason I believe I have a little nerd in me. I am back in school working on
a Master of Divinity. Prior to this degree I was a project assistant for the Monroe County Long Term Recovery Committee, a project of the United Way of Monroe County. In this position I was able to give literally millions of dollars to people in the Bloomington, IN area who were affected by the 2008 June floods and Sept hurricanes that devastated Monroe County and the State of Indiana.
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is the Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Sciences. It is a full 4 year
scholarship that provides room, board, books and tuition (that’s right it’s all free!) for those
interested in majoring in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related areas. There are many majors to choose from, Physics, Biology, Biology Pre Professional, Mathematics, Optical engineering just to name a few. To get accepted in the program you have to have excelled in high school, been active in your local community as well as do well on the SAT and/or ACT. Now I am sure that we have all heard that nothing in life is free. And that is correct. As a DNIMAS student you will be expected to excel in your coursework at Norfolk State, complete summer internships, volunteer in the local community, and once done at NSU go on to enroll in and complete a graduate degree program. The program is strenuous, but trust me it really does equip you for graduate level work.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
I’m pretty sure I just answered this question above. DNIMAS has prepared me to reach the
places that I am today. I learned valuable skills from people like Dr. McClain and Mr. Parker.
Neither let me get away with anything. They pushed me, and that pushing has made me a
better person today. I have learned how to manage my time, how to not “burn bridges”, I have also learned that DNIMAS is a community. I know that I can turn to any of my fellow DNIMAS Alum for anything within life. Lastly, I have learned that you don’t pay to go to school. All three of my degrees have been paid for!!!
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
DNIMAS has really helped with my time management. When in DNIMAS I knew there were
many requirements that had to be fulfilled. To name a few we had to keep a 3.0 (wasn’t it
boosted to 3.3…there were so many changes during my tenure), attend the mandatory study sessions and even volunteer a certain number of hours a week. I’m sure there was much more but can’t remember all now. I wanted a life outside of DNIMAS and studying, so I had to manage my time wisely.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
I was always doing something. I was a member and officer of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.,
involved in student government, tutor for ACCESS tutorial center and even helped with the
tutoring program at Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
Sorry Ervin, but when Alfonzo dressed up as you for Halloween. I will never forget that. Who
would have known that the two of you would end up pledging Iota together, that you two would become line brothers. I just have to say lol.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
Hmmm. Now although in the long run I appreciate these things now, the mandatory study
sessions, begin forced to volunteer (Voluntold as Sharday would say), all the changes Dr.
McClain made when she became the director. I was already doing some of these things. Plus, one of the study session dates conflicted with the sweat box (perspiration cubes for the nerds). Conflicting with the sweat box is not an option.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I’d be broke and not a proud alum of Norfolk State University (Go Spartans!). All of my friends who have been to school and had to pay for it are paying student loans out the wazoo. I do have a few student loans, but they were minimal and from my masters degree. I don’t expect my payments to be too large. Also, the full scholarship solidified my attending Norfolk State. Truthfully at first I had no desire to attend NSU. Both my brothers went there and I wanted to be different.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Of course, DNIMAS is a family and families stick together.
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Read any and everything that I have said above. Dr. McClain is serious about what she says, so listen to her. She is wise and she really does care about what is best for the DNIMAS students. Also, I think we sometimes forget but being in DNIMAS is a privilege, not a right. As with most privileges there are things one has to do to keep them (i.e. follow the rules, trust me in the long run you see they are really not that bad).