A Letter to Students from Lachan Layton, BS ’14, Biology

Lachan Layton STEM@Arkansas

Lachan Layton

The STEM Residential College in Arkansas Hall is one of the major contributors to where I am today. My story starts in August of 2010 when I entered UCA. I originally lived in another building. It was a wonderful experience but, as I was a science major, I spent most of my time in STEM@Arkansas. In November of my first semester at UCA, I transferred to the STEM Residential College. It turns out that this was the best decision that I could have ever made. Here I was able to interact with students who were in my classes, participate in a multitude of volunteer opportunities that revolved around science and eventually become a mentor to students who needed help with academics or personal issues.

Through the STEM@Arkansas, I was able to meet many influential people. These people led me to enroll in research in the Lewis Science Center, participate on the committee for further residential colleges (EPIC@Bear in particular) and give back to the community simply by teaching science to children. I landed a job at the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority in Little Rock as the STEM intern my junior year. The only way that this occurred was through some of my professors who recommended me for the position. It was an amazing experience where I traveled the state and learned all that Arkansas has to offer in the STEM fields.

I can truly see and credit my time at STEM@Arkansas and UCA for some of my success now. I am enrolled at the UAMS Physician Assistant Studies Program. I currently am in my 2nd year and would not have made it without the skills that I learned from studying with so many talented and intelligent students and being in such close contact with professors. Some of those professors’ reference letters are also part of the reason that I was accepted into the program. The memories of those years are what kept me going when I thought I was in over my head.

So from a hopeful freshman, to lab rat and bookworm, then UCA graduate and now Physician Assistant student, I can see now how STEM@Arkansas molded me to succeed. I will always be honored to have had that experience and the memories that were made.