Sunday, May 31, 2015

Student Spotlight: Aaron Jabir

Aaron Jabir is a member of Liberty’s ISM program, and a senior at Liberty High School. He had an amazing experience under the mentorship of Dr. Seema Yasmin, who is a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas and a journalist for the Dallas Morning News. She began her writing career at the University of Toronto where she completed her graduate studies, and then began her work with the CDC.

Over the course of this year, he has learned much from Dr. Yasmin through both class lectures and one on one experience. She has given him a head start in his adult life and given him a great deal of advice for the coming future. Under her guidance, Aaron was able to complete and refine both his final product and original work for the ISM program.

Student Spotlight: Chandrandshu Rao - Computer Engineering

Chandranshu Rao is a senior ISM student at Liberty High School. As a part of the Independent Study and Mentorship program, he studied Computer Engineering under the mentorship of Dr. David Junkin, the Technical Talent Development Manager at Texas Instruments. Under his mentorship, he has been able to experience the responsibilities and skills needed by a successful computer engineer. He has been able to visit the Texas Instruments Dallas headquarters and see the innovations computer engineers at TI are making everyday to improve technolog. Under his mentor’s guidance, Chandranshu was able to complete his Original Work over networks and create an embedded machine, allowing a coffee machine to tweet, as his Final Product. Through his mentorship experience, Chandranshu has been able to get hands-on experience in the Computer Engineering field and learn about its various subfields.

Student Spotlight: Sarah Samuel - Pediatric Neurosurgery

Taken from Sarah Samuel's Blog:

As I look back upon this year, I cannot help but be incredibly grateful for all that unique and amazing opportunities I have had under the mentorship of Dr. Bradley Weprin. My favorite memory with him is actually my first interview with him. I remember walking in and we began talking about various neurological disorders. We were talking about hydrocephalus and I knew a little about the topic and the main treatment is something called a shunt. But what stood out to me about this interview was the fact that Dr. Weprin stopped during his interview to go and get an actual shunt. He put it into my hands and this was a really neat experience for me. Although to others it may seem like something insignificant, the fact that he made a point to teach me something new in a tangible way and help me understand in a different perspective really impacted me. Out of all my other experiences with him, I particularly treasure the conversations that I have had with him in his office -- that's not to say that seeing craniofacial surgeries or tumor resections or going on rounds or shadowing in clinic was not exciting or fascination. But the conversations that I had with my mentor took our relationship to the next level. Whether we were talking about why certain neurological disorders occurred more frequently in some geographical areas than others or the latest fetal surgery techniques or my college plans, every conversation that I had with him taught me something new. He invested so much of his time and energy into teaching me not only about the field of pediatric neurosurgery but valuable life lessons. I am truly appreciative of the his desire and willingness to teach and mentor me. I honestly could not have asked for a better mentor.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Student Spotlight: Ruth Ann Philip - International Relations

Ruth Ann Philip is a senior in the ISM program of 2014-2015 at Liberty studying International Relations under the mentorship of Dr. Clint Peinhardt, a professor at UT Dallas. During her time in the Independent Study and Mentorship class, Ruth has learned, more than ever, that she wants to pursue the field  in college as well. For her final product, Ruth created a research portfolio focusing on a particular International Law, the sub-field she wants to focus in. The knowledge that Ruth has gained, especially in terms of gaining confidence and becoming a better public speaker, will definitely still continue to help her in the future. She has enjoyed working with her mentor and learning under the direction of Mr. Wysong, while relating to every other ISM student in their journey as well. She plans to attend Oral Roberts University this fall in order to major in International Relations and minor in both French and Pre-Law, to hopefully, one day, work at the United Nations. 

Student Spotlight: Abel Sen - Artificial Intelligence

Abel Sen is a junior in ISM studying artificial intelligence under the mentorship of Dr. 
Vincent Ng, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Texas at 
Dallas. With the help of Dr. Ng, Abel managed to create a natural language 
processing program that built upon the work of ISM alumnus Karan Shukla. After 
learning about the AI subfield of machine learning this year in ISM, Abel hopes to 
continue studying the various aspects of artificial intelligence and machine learning 
in particular, and he will further develop his passion for AI as he takes ISM in his 
senior year of high school.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Student Spotlight: Tia Nayar - Physical Therapy

Tia Nayar, a volleyball athlete, completed the Independent Study Mentorship program during her senior year. She studied physical therapy under the mentorship of Lance Walker at the Michael Johnson Performance Center. During her mentorship she was given the opportunity to sit in on dry needling and cupping certification programs, work as a PT technician, and help with the 2015 NFL combine class. "It has been incredible working with all different types of athletes. From olympians to younger athletes, there was never a dull moment,” Tia remembered.  Tia Nayar had a truly unforgettable year in the ISM program. Her only regret is not taking ISM her junior year so she could participate two years in this amazing program.

Student Snapshot: Jocelyn Oats - Water Conservation

Jocelyn Oats is a senior at Liberty High School. She is studying Water Conservation under the mentorship of Mr. Clyde Hogue, the District Conservationist of the U.S Dept. of Agriculture’s Natural Resource and Conservation Service. With her mentors guidance she has been able to successfully participate in many water conservation efforts, as well as other environmental sustainability issues. One of the most impactful experiences Jocelyn had was when she was able to observe and record the inner workings of a head administrators’’ meeting. Though it wasn’t the most hands-on experience it isn’t to be taken for granted, seeing that it provided her with the insight, and knowledge to comprehend the reality of the environmental problems North Texas faces. Alongside this Jocelyn has received many other opportunities such as contributing to the semi-annual Rain Barrel Sale with the Plano Sustainability Center, and volunteer with the Water Wise workshops of the Frisco Public Works Facility. Jocelyn is currently at the cusp of her invention, which she used as a final product. It is the creation of a bio-degradable and compostable water bottle. Though many of the initial attempts at creating it have failed, she is still avidly pursuing its formation. One day she hopes to patent her idea, and continues to strive for a more water conscious future.

Check out Jocelyn’s Blog @:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Student Spotlight: Hyder Shad - Electrical Engineering

This year has been incredible. I have had some truly incredible experiences. My first day of the internship with the Perot Museum, I was already helping to build an exhibit hall, not only learning the logistics of the business as well as structural and design elements, but also wiring photo-gate timers and light cube walls. I soon began to learn how to solder, woodwork, 3D print and design, program laser cutters, and program Arduino controlled robotics within my first two weeks. All throughout the summer, I worked throughout the entire museum on repairing the electronics within countless interactive exhibits that are beaten down by the eight thousand visitors daily. This is no easy task, as the exhibits are custom made with little to no useful documentation. I not only got to work on custom built robots and within my field of electrical engineering, but also on projects involving so many different skill sets such as carpentry and graphic design. Through working in a science museum, I of course also learned about various scientific fields: biology, chemistry, geology, paleontology, astronomy, and so much more. I've partaken in rocket launches, pine wood derby races, and halloween shop door contests. I've been to Social Science events where the museum unveils special experiments and exhibits along with one of the coolest parties around. I even had the opportunity to work the World of Tomorrow event and meet with UTD NanoTech lab researchers using CNTs and electric current to produce super strong spring fibers, operate a $4.1 million DaVinci robotic MIS system, have a drink poured by an automated robot butler, eat liquid nitrogen frozen s'mores, and see some of the latest cutting edge technology available. But most of all, the experiences I have had with my many mentors throughout the building, especially with Mr. Cederstrom, have been truly unique in the sense that I now have such a diverse, intelligent, hilarious, and downright awesome family of friends. One of my most memorable experiences has been working on a model Tesla Coil with Mr. Cederstrom, on which we spent an entire night trying to build and make it give off 10,000 volt arcs of lightning. I learned a lot through this project about capacitors, high voltages, current, magnetic induction, and of course the fabrication processes involved in building a tesla coil. I also got to learn a lot about what Mr. Cederstrom does as an HVAC engineer, and how many fields and subjects he has to be proficient in to become a successful engineer, especially in terms of his knowledge of electrical engineering. From making my robotic hand, to a full size robotic exoskeleton, I have made lifelong connections and experienced privileged opportunities given to almost no one else. I am truly thankful to everyone at the Perot Museum for such a wonderful past two and a half years. It is heartbreaking that I will be ending my volunteer experience there this summer as I will be going off to college to pursue my studies in electrical engineering. It has been simply an incredible experience that will forever shape my future.

Student Spotlight: Abhay Rangray - Finance

Abhay Rangray is a senior at Liberty High School and studied finance and portfolio management under the mentorship of Mr. Christopher Davis, a portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Over the course of the year, Abhay has learned many things about his field and has specifically gained more knowledge about financial models, portfolio, and the different types of investment products. Over the course of his mentorship, Abhay also had the opportunity of observing financial markets in action and learn about the factors that distinguish high-performing company stocks. For his Final Product, Abhay worked with Mr. Davis to create a financial portfolio that explores exchange traded funds and the gains that can occur from their usage. Abhay has enjoyed the experience of working with Mr. Davis and will pursue a career in finance in the coming years.

Eileen Bau - Marketing & Martial Arts

Eileen Bau is a junior in the ISM program at Liberty studying the Marketing/Advertising field under the mentorship of Scott Eagle, an account supervisor at the ad agency Slingshot LLC. She has had the incredible opportunity to experience ad agency life. This experience includes touring behind-the-scenes of a TV shoot, sitting in on client meetings in various accounts, and for her final product, creating her own monster of an advertising campaign for her martial arts school. (You can view her advertising campaign booklet here!). The insights and knowledge that Eileen have gained this year are immeasurably valuable, and she cannot thank her mentor enough. She plans to continue her journey in ISM for the 2015-2016 year, and aims to further specialize in a more specific sub-field of marketing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Student Spotlight: Allie Granberry - Copy Editing

From Allie Granberry:

My most successful moment as an ISM student was an epiphany. My mentor helped me to realize that editing is an exercise in clarity for the target audience, not for the glorification of myself or really the benefit of the author. She showed me what editing means to companies who need help marketing themselves, and she showed me that editing is truly my career path. I came for learning, and I left with knowledge—that is the ultimate success. 

Student Snapshot: Frank Wang - Optometry

Frank Wang is a senior at Liberty High School and has been studying optometry under the mentorship of Dr. Loan Lao. Frank has had many great experiences with Dr. Lao and has learned a lot about the field. He has learned to use a lensometer, phoropter, and auto refractor. As well, during his mentor visits, Frank shadows Dr. Lao and frequently helps her enter patient information. For his final product, Frank worked with Dr. Lao to create a multipurpose pair of glasses that allow users to quickly change out the lenses. Frank was eventually able to turn his initial glass designs into reality and was able to 3D print a working model. In the end, Frank has enjoyed his time studying optometry under Dr. Lao and has enjoyed his time in the ISM program.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Class of 2015 - Liberty Top 10

ISM was well represented this year in the class of 2015 top 10.  Congratulations on your achievements!

*Aarushi Aggarwal - Salutatorian
John Blassingame
*Yue Chu
Rebecca Lee
Ethan Lind
*Tracy Lu
Srija Nalla
Vik Shirvaikar
*Frank Wang - Valedictorian
Abby Wong

* = ISM student

Student Snapshot: Jordan Alnemer - Sports Physical Therapy

Jordan Alnemer, a senior at Liberty High School, took a look into the field of Sports Physical Therapy this past year in Independent Study and Mentorship. Jordan studied under the mentorship of Dr. Michelle Pietrowski of EDGE Physical Therapy where she observed manual therapies, worked alongside patients through their exercise programs, and learned more about anatomy and the different techniques applied in physical therapy. She focused her original work and final product onto sports injuries that affect many Americans daily. With her mentor and information contributed by many physical therapists around the country, she designed an exercise program focusing on the most prominent overuse injuries athletes face in 2015. Jordan plans to attend Texas Tech University this fall to major in Exercises and Sports Science where she hopes to become a personal trainer, and begin working on improving her clients health quickly. Jordan has enjoyed her ISM experience and has great memories of working with athletes, stroke patients, and people affected by chronic injuries. Observing nearly 90 hours during her mentorship, she leaves ISM feeling incredibly passionate towards a career in physical therapy and ready to begin her educational journey.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mentor Spotlight: Matthew Tremmel's Mentor - Mr. Nathan Ratliff

Mr. Ratliff joined the Hebron High School faculty in January 2014 as the Assistant Director of Choral Activities. He is returning for his seventh season with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps as the Front Ensemble Coordinator.

Mr. Nathan Ratliff received Bachelor of Music degrees in percussion and piano performance from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, he twice won the Concerto Competition, performing with the symphony orchestra on percussion and piano. He went on to receive a Master of Music in percussion performance from the University of North Texas. Upon completing his degree, he became the director of the UNT 2:00 Steel Band through 2005. 

Nathan was a member of the highly-acclaimed Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps in 1997 and 1998. For the past 12 years, he has been an “in-demand” accompanist performing with local middle school and high school choirs and for solo and ensemble contests. Mr. Ratliff also performs in accompanying recitals at the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, and Texas A&M Commerce. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Student Snapshot: Natalie Ramirez - Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Natalie Ramirez is a junior student athlete here in the ISM program studying U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the mentorship of Special Agent Eddie Basham. Natalie has experienced many opportunities such as being Invited to the 6th Annual Human Trafficking Summit hosted in Dallas, meeting many Non-profit organizations directors such as Mosiac Family services and talked to many law enforcement officials in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area such criminal investigators and human trafficking agents as well with legal representatives. One of her memorable moments was visiting the Homeland Security Investigations SAC offices in Dallas where her mentor works shown in the pictures. Natalie has talked to ICE/HSI supervisors and many other Special agents assigned in other investigative areas. Natalie has been accepted as a ISM member again for the 2015-2016 course year and plans to focus primarly on Homeland Security Investigations.

Check out Natalie's blog -

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Student Snapshot: Allie Measel - Pediatric Dermatology

Liberty High School senior Allie Measel is studying Pediatric Dermatology and for her final product is focusing on melanoma awareness. Allie had the opportunity to help coordinate and volunteer for the Aim at Melanoma Foundation’s annual Aim for the Cure Melanoma Walk / Fun Run. She got to spread her knowledge to people attending the event including melanoma survivors and family members and friends of melanoma patients. Allie also got to present her final product to over hundreds of people, helping answer many of the questions most people have about tanning and melanoma.

At the start, people could walk up to the main information tent she was hosting and ask questions about sunscreen, UV rays, safe ways to maintain your skin, and most importantly, melanoma. There were over 861 registrants and more than $58,800 Donations received prior to event.

Friday, May 1, 2015

DECA Students go to Internationals!!

This past week, 24 FISD Liberty Deca students attended the international career development conference in Orlando, Florida. Students participated in events in business, finance, hospitality and tourism, entrepreneurship and marketing. Seven competitors placed in the top 10 of their events and four placed in top three. ISM students that attended the conference include: 

-Moukthika Obulareddy
-Sharan Mohan 
-Aarushi Aggarwal
-Chandranshu Rao
-Harshith Dasara 
-Shannon Matthews 
-Huixi Yu
-Sindhu Senthilkumar 
-Eileen Bau