North Texas Daily

New TAMS dean plans for program’s future

New TAMS dean plans for program’s future

New TAMS dean plans for program’s future
February 16
23:59 2015

Steven James / Senior Staff Writer

Research scientist and educator Glênisson de Oliveira began his term as the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science dean this January. TAMS is a two-year program in which high school juniors and seniors take college-level courses while completing high school requirements.

De Oliveira said he applied for the position after learning former Dean Richard Sinclair retired after 22 years at the post. He said UNT was attractive because, in his opinion, it had top-notch students and researchers.

“The students are challenged in academic ways that they wouldn’t be at a normal high school,” de Oliveira said.

De Oliveira was a chemistry professor and department chair at Rhode Island College. He was also the Rhode Island Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Center director. In Rhode Island, he received a $12.5 million National Science Foundation grant to help math and science teachers improve the quality of STEM education for high school students.

De Oliveira said 374 students are currently enrolled in the TAMS program, all of whom live in McConnell Hall. They participate in community service, undergraduate research with professors, UNT clubs and organizations as well as normal high school activities, like dances.

To be accepted, students must submit transcripts, letters of recommendation from high school teachers and attend an interview day to talk to TAMS staff. De Oliveira said nearly 200 students are accepted each year. They must take at least 12 hours and are constantly monitored so they will not drop out of the program.

“One thing I didn’t quite anticipate was how nice these students are to each other and to other people,” de Oliveira said. “Working with students in general is a very fulfilling responsibility for many people. You have a personal experience in seeing someone developing in their thought process and maturing in the way they see the world.”

Sinclair said de Oliveira will do well working with staff members and students.

“I think based on what I’ve seen, he’s an exceptional administrator and scientist,” Sinclair said.

Sinclair said the thing he will miss the most about being dean is working with students.

“There is a deficit of our young people not being interested in going into science,” Sinclair said. “TAMS attracts the youngest and brightest in the state, and the colleges they go to are the best in the nation.”

Director of Academic Programs Donna Fleming said she is excited to work with de Oliveira to explore options that could help strengthen the program.

“He has already contributed some creative ideas and solutions,” Fleming said. “His strong leadership skills will guide TAMS as it continues to provide exceptional students with a challenging and rewarding academic experience.”

Featured Image: New Dean of TAMS Glênisson de Oliveira. Photo by Tom Gonzalez – Staff Photographer

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