GEM was established in 1976 to help place underrepresented students in programs of science and engineering. This involved placements on graduate programs and providing help in starting and then achieving masters and doctorates. The scheme was purley for US citizens. Graduate students who believe that this program was suitable for them and that fulfilled the criteria were invited to apply for financial assistance for attendance on STC-affiliated courses through out the US.

As a shy and retiring type it was my worse nightmare that when my sister decided to get married she put me as her chief bridesmaids in charge of the hen party. Being a bit younger than my sister most of my friends are still unmarried, so I had not had the pleasure of attending many hen dos, but the ones I had seen on the telly looked horrendous.

After speaking to my sister and a couple of her friends my fears were reduced slightly her saying she wanted to go for a meal followed by some cocktails. The meal was easy but I thought I better start by finding a hen party accessories shop so that I could buy some of the pink tat that goes with all hen parties. There are so many but luckily I found an online shop www.henpartyaccessoriesshop.co.uk which really looked after me, and helped me get a handful of products from willy shot glasses through to willy drinking straws… you follow the theme? I do have to say they were an absolute hit and the girls loved them. All in all the experience was character building and I need not have been so worried

It was during a recent stay in hospital that you appreciate your home comforts. Its not that the hospitals don’t try to make you feel welcome as the majority of nurses are excellent and are a highly upraised resource. The food was actually not to bad at all; I think that unflattering press reports from years gone by are still to be shaken off. The meals are probably better than a lot of families eat each day. The discomfort really began when it was time to sleep. The unfamiliar noises of nurses going about their business, people snoring all over the place and of course what seems like 24-hour light. I have to say for the first few nights I really struggled resulting in feeling very tired. I had a couple of weeks to go and wondered how I was going to manage when a relative bought some earplugs and blindfolds from the local chemist. What a difference. The earplugs were good but the eye mask or blindfold was an absolute saviour. Blocking the light really made such a difference. A tip I would give anyone who has a hospital trip ahead.

I have recently been discussing in great depth with my husband the positives and negatives of getting a cat. When you ask around some people are so pro cats and that they are the best cats ever, where others think it could be the worst decision you will ever make. Why do people feel so strong one way or another? The negatives first: cats seem to have an ability to disappear. The occurrence of cats being run over and the disappearance of so many of our feline friends just puts many people off. A lost cat is enough to stress anyone out. On the other hand the positives is you get a relatively low maintenance pet that does not need walking and on the whole will curl up in your lap and love your attention. Some people say they are not as loyal as dogs and that some cats actually have a few different owners, eg. Who ever will feed them or stroke them.

The jury is out whether we get one or not but I shall keep you informed. For reference my friend did actually loose their cat and the following company www.animalsearchuk.co.uk used their fantastic poster campaign and the cat was found safe and sound!

I am a sport lover; in fact you could go as far to say that my sport is… sport! I just love watching sport. Its not just me its my brother and father too. We have not just a special bond due to being siblings and father and son we have developed an even stronger bond through the amount of sporting events that we have visited together. The Olympics in London had been something we had been looking forward to for years. Luckily living in the states getting tickets seemed easier than the Brits found. Armed with a variety of tickets for events from the equestrian events in Greenwich Park to football, judo, rowing and of course the athletics our trip really was once in a lifetime stuff. We stayed in a hotel in Covent Garden for two weeks and it really was a home from home. It was fantastic. They even had complimentary sleep masks, which when you live in another time zone is very useful! I believe they were from www.sleepmasks.org.uk The trip inspired me so much I have even started running since I returned home.