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University of Michigan President Talks with Intel STS Finalists

By Caitlin Jennings, Communications Specialist, Society for Science & the Public

Mary Sue Coleman, a 1961 Westinghouse STS finalist.
Mary Sue Coleman, a 1961 Westinghouse STS finalist.

Last night the Intel STS 2011 finalists had a special treat. Every year, at the alumni dinner, a Science Talent Search alumnus returns to share his or her thoughts and wisdom with the 40 finalists. This year, they had the privilege of hearing stories and advice from University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman.

Dr. Coleman said she remembered very clearly what it was like to come home during high school in 1961 and find out that she was a finalist! In fact, she was the first ever finalist from the state of Iowa. She also shared what it was like to meet president John F. Kennedy and how the STS experience impacted her life. She also advised the finalists to do what they love and not to be afraid of failure.

Afterwards, the finalists had a chance to talk with her and her husband, Dr. Kenneth Coleman, a political scientist specializing in Latin America, during a dessert reception. I’m sure the finalists came away from the speech inspired to reach their own high potentials, and perhaps come back five decades from now to give an inspiring speech of their own.