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Rebecca Hodnett
—Louisiana Tech University photos

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Maddie Dearman

La. Tech children's book series promotes STEM

RUSTIN — VISTA Center students at Louisiana Tech University are putting the finishing touches on the second book in a new children’s book series.
The Journey Series aims to teach elementary-age children — and their parents — about topics in science, technology, engineering, and math, as well as show career development paths in STEM fields.
“The Journey of a Stem Cell” is the second book in the series, and it was written by graduate student Rebecca Hodnett and illustrated by Maddie Dearman, a studio art and graphic design major. The interactive book is designed to teach children about stem cells, introduce the contribution of stem cells to research and medicine, and show children the opportunities available in art, communication, science, and engineering.
The first book of the series, “The Journey of Dr. John Stewart IV,” was released in November and is already having an impact on students and in classrooms. The first book is an interactive children’s book about Stewart, a Tech graduate who went on to a successful career in surgical oncology and cancer research. The book was created by the Center and illustrated by studio art major Jacob Broussard.
“This is just the first book of many to showcase role models to children that will continue to be shared in the community and inspire the next generation of educators, scientists, doctors, and engineers,” said Dr. Jamie Newman, associate director for VISTA. “Recently, the Call Me Mister program at Louisiana Tech University, a program focused on recruiting African American males into education and teaching, read the book to nearly 150 second graders at Glen View Elementary. The visit showed these elementary school students that they can grow up to become whatever and whoever they want.”
Everyone can be a part of The Journey Series by donating to the publication of “The Journey of a Stem Cell.” Those who donate receive a gift from the VISTA Center as a thank you for their support.
The VISTA Center is an interdisciplinary effort at Louisiana Tech University designed to introduce students to opportunities in science and art that enhance the communication of complex information across language and educational barriers.
For more information on the VISTA Center, academic minors supported by the Center, and opportunities for collaboration. visit the VISTA website,, or contact VISTA Center Director Nicholas Bustamante or VISTA Center Associate Director Jamie Newman.


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