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Calhoun Grad Serves as LEEP Project Pioneer

Editor's Note: The following article was written and submitted by representatives of ReadMedia Newswire.

Rebecca M. Rood Goldman of Merrick, is one of 46 Clark University students selected to serve as a LEEP Project Pioneer — the first class of students conducting projects under LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice), Clark's model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences.

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The LEEP Pioneers have been working closely with faculty mentors as well as Clark alumni and organizational partners on projects of shared interest or leading-edge research and analysis. The projects, some of which started this summer, and others which will commence during the 2012-2013 academic year, allow the students to creatively address actual problems and apply their knowledge in authentic workplace settings before they graduate.

The LEEP Projects span the full breadth of academic studies, from arts/humanities to natural and social sciences.

Rood Goldman spent her summer studying the evolution of terrestrial leeches at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History in New York in preparation for putting together a visual display of photographs that exhibit the beauty of biology in a way that appeals to both biologists and non-scientists. A video about her project is available at http://clarkvoices.clarku.edu/2012/11/06/leeches/. She also kept a blog while conducting her research.

"Clark's LEEP Project Pioneers initiative is the inaugural run for an exciting new feature of our undergraduate curriculum,” said Colin Polsky, associate dean for undergraduate research and active pedagogy and associate professor of geography. “LEEP Projects provide opportunities for students to blend academic learning with professional development. LEEP Projects not only allow Clark students to dive deep into a topic about which they are passionate, but also require students to learn how to communicate about the topic to multiple and diverse audiences."

"Clark professors have taught me that a good question can be as valuable as a good answer," said Rood Goldman. "Having close experiences with faculty at Clark made it easier for me to be working one-on-one with my adviser during my LEEP Project at the museum."

Rood Goldman's LEEP Project exposed her to the lives of researchers, professors, artists and curators.

"I look forward to following in the footsteps of all these wonderful people," she said.

Rood Goldman is a member of the Class of 2014 at Clark; she majors in biology and studio art. On campus, she a member of the Eco-Reps (student sustainability organization) and Clark University Brothers and Sisters (CUBS); she is also a peer advisor. Rood Goldman is a 2010 graduate of Sanford H. Calhoun High School.

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