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Earning a Penn State Degree and Landing a Full-Time Job in Under Four Years

April 2, 2014
Dublin High School and Penn State Graduate Melyssa Lloyd

DHS Class of ’10 and Penn State Class of ’14 Melyssa Lloyd

Three and a half years ago Dublin High School Class of 2010 graduate Melyssa Lloyd wrote the first Life in College article for Her first hand experiences at Penn State were soon followed by 28 other Dublin High grads attending public and private colleges across the US (and Canada). With those first series of Dublin High Class of 2010 graduates now earning Class of 2014 college degrees, we’re circling back to find out how they did.

I met up with Ms. Lloyd at a Starbucks near Dublin High School where she talked about graduating early from Penn State with a double major in Human Resources and Communication, and a full-time job with Fidelity Investments. For high school students looking to get the most out of college, and to be ready for life after college, read on.

James Morehead: You recently graduated from Penn State and are now working full-time – congratulations! Talk about how you settled on the double major you successfully earned.

Melissa Lloyd: “I was able to get all the classes I needed (I double majored) and never had any problems with scheduling. I did complete one summer session, taking a couple of classes, but didn’t have to do anything unusual. I was also able to transfer an AP credit.

“Going into Penn State I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I liked working with people and started off in political science, but ended up switching to human resources. After taking a few communications classes, I decided to double major.

“If you can find two different majors that your are interested in, and there are classes you need to take that work for both, then it makes it easier to double major. Having a double major is an advantage on your resume.

“I made the decision to graduate early after taking summer classes. I love Penn State, and it wasn’t about trying to get out of the school, but I felt I’d have an advantage entering the job market before the majority of students graduate.”

Morehead: Did you have any internships along the way?

Read more…

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NASA Partners with Dublin Public Schools for Space Exploration Program

April 1, 2014

Two lucky Dublin students will have the opportunity to experience zero gravity and the thrill of space travel thanks to a unique partnership announced today between NASA and Dublin’s public school system.

The program will involve a year-long evaluation process to identify and train two student astronauts who will graduate with a ticket to ride – to the outer reaches of the earth’s atmosphere.

This unique opportunity, made possible due to the success of the engineering programs already in place in Dublin schools, is remarkable given the selectivity of the NASA astronaut program: “NASA selects astronauts from a diverse pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds. From the thousands of applications received, only a few are chosen for the intensive Astronaut Candidate training program. Including the ‘Original Seven’, only 330 astronauts have been selected to date.” (source: NASA website).

Details on how to apply:

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Dublin High School Freshman Wins Grand Prize at Science and Engineering Fair

March 29, 2014

Dublin High School Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair EntryMight a future Dublin High School graduate be responsible for a vision related technology breakthrough? In the fast moving world, anything is possible. However, one would be wise to follow the future of a current Gael. Meet Mr. Kumaran Ratnam. We posted a global story on the recently concluded 3rd Annual Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Alameda County Science & Engineering Fair. The Fair and competition was open to all middle and high school students in Alameda County. 640 students elected to accept the challenge and produce an exhibit across multiple categories. At stake were various awards including 1st through 3rd place, Best in Category, State Qualifier and Grand Prize. In the pinnacle group there were only four awardees. Kumaran captured one of them – as a ninth grader. As it turned out, Mr. Ratnam and his classmates were going to participate as it was an element of his Biology with Research class taught by Janet Kaehms. recently sat down with both of them as they shared the journey to a Grand Prize.

Kumaran and his family transplanted to Dublin during the summer of 2013. His parents are both Engineers – Dad works for Cisco and Mom is at Oracle. He has a younger sister, Jayani, who is an 8th grader at Fallon Middle School. This was a rather significant move for the Ratnam’s as they relocated from Acton, Massachusetts. As we learned, this was not the first time that Ratnam has succeeded in a science fair. Project ID: MH 5017 – A Novel Energy Harvesting System with a Piezo Element to Power a Visual Prosthesis. The subject of your project is fascinating. What specifically inspired you to research this subject?

Kumaran Ratnam

Kumaran Ratnam

Kumaran Ratnam: “We all take our lives for granted. I got interested in finding out how vision works and understanding vision related issues because I have a close family member with visual impairment. When I was in middle school, I did a project on age related Macular Degeneration (one of the leading cause of blindness in USA) and designed an ultrasonic guiding device. That project took me all the way to the national level and I was selected as a National Semi-finalist at Broadcom MASTERS. From then on, I got more and more interested in vision issues and I wanted to make the life easier for visually impaired people.”

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Dublin High School Juniors Celebrate 2014 Junior Prom in Style

March 26, 2014

Dublin High School Junior Prom 3Prom is a milestone for all the Juniors at DHS. It signals that their days of being Juniors are coming to an end and their final year of high school is right around the corner. On Saturday, March 22, the class of 2015 celebrated this milestone at The Bridges in San Ramon.

This memorable night began at Shannon Park. Students with their friends, dates, and family members gathered together to take pictures with everyone. After months of trying to find the perfect dress, building up the courage to ask that special someone, and setting up appointments for hair, makeup, and nails, students finally got to relax and enjoy their special day.

After taking their pictures, the students rushed over to the venue which was decorated to fit the theme, Old Hollywood. Pictures of classic Hollywood stars were displayed in the corners and the tables were decorated with beads and candles. Everything was absolutely beautiful and none of us could have imagined a more perfect night.

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Budding Scientists Fill 3rd Annual Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair

March 24, 2014

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair 1On Sunday, over 640 students and their families converged upon the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. The purpose was to recognize the achievements of hundreds of both middle and senior high school students. In actuality, it was a weekend long celebration. For those that committed to the task, Friday evening represented a set-up period for their display boards and documentation. Starting early Saturday morning, the students were standing by their projects and were prepared to discuss their methodologies with a variety of judges. By mid-day, additional judges came through to determine how would advance to the second round.

The Dublin Unified School District sent 112 students to the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair, representing 1/6th of all students at the fair. Every sixth person you passed when walking through the projects was from a Dublin public school, out of the 72 schools that sent students to the fair. Almost 100 students were from Dublin High School, representing 5% of the Dublin High’s student population.

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Dublin’s Rantz Family Named 2014 March for Babies Bay Area Ambassadors

March 20, 2014
The Rantz Family

The Rantz Family

In the United States, each year over a half a million babies are born too soon – 50,000 alone in California. This is a staggering statistic. To complicate matters, in over 50% of the cases of preterm birth, the causation is unresolved. For decades, the March of Dimes organization has led a national campaign to place a spotlight on this crisis. Their mission statement reads “We help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.” Despite these adverse numbers, many infants go on to live healthy and happy lives. Of course, there are those that survive, but some that live with cognitive, digestive, vision and hearing loss. In so many ways, it is the luck of the draw. By definition, a micro preemie is a baby born weighing less than 1 pound, 12 ounces or before 26 weeks of gestation. Because they are born months before their due dates, micro preemies often face long neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stays. By the numbers, infants born at 22 weeks experience a 10% survival rate. In contrast, those born at 26 weeks have a 90% survival rate.

This preamble brings us to a kindergarten student at Frederiksen Elementary School, Brooklyn Rantz. Brooklyn’s parents, Rich and Kathy married in 2005. Rich is a manager at Patelco in the DMV Department and Kathy is employed by Chevron in their Gift Card Program. recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Rantz family to discuss the fascinating odyssey of their daughter.

When Kathy unexpectedly experienced contractions 16 weeks early on the morning of November 17, 2007, Rich and Kathy went to the ER at ValleyCare in Pleasanton. After the nurses in Labor and Delivery were unable to slow down Kathy’s contractions, she was taken via ambulance to Alta Bates in Berkeley where they able to slow her contractions for almost two days.

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High School Students Give Back at the Dublin Senior Center

March 17, 2014

By Grace Li (Dublin High School Class of 2015 Junior)

Dublin Senior Center Volunteers 2Mondays through Fridays, volunteers file into the Dublin Senior Center eager to start another day’s work. They sign in, put on a pair of gloves, and starting cleaning and setting up a happy and enjoyable environment for the residents and visitors.

These volunteers consist of high school students from all across the Tri-Valley. They come from Castro Valley, San Ramon, Livermore, Pleasanton, and of course, Dublin. All have their own reasons for joining the volunteer program the senior center has to offer. Though initially, many signed up to fulfill the community service portion of their graduation requirement.

“I signed up to volunteer at the senior center for community service hours,” says Dublin High senior Camila Huang. “But now I just do it for fun and to give back to the community.”

Many of the volunteers find that even after their fifty (the requisite number of volunteer hours for Dublin High) hours are done, they stick around. The structure and routine of the senior center volunteering program allows them freedom and fun. Volunteers are often seen happily chatting with their friends as they wash dishes, set up tables, make coffee, and pin up decorations.

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