SULSA Awarded Five Year Implementation Program Project
Objective Of The Project Is To Strengthen Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Southern University of Shreveport Louisiana (SUSLA) was awarded a five-year comprehensive implementation project though NSF-HBCU-UP Program. The objective of the project is to strengthen Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs at SUSLA. ?We propose to enhance and strengthen STEM curricula, undergraduate research, student recruitment and retention, and faculty professional development? says Dr. Barry Hester, PI/Director of the Program.
According to Dr. Hester, Undergraduate research experience is one of the most crucial factors that influence a student?s decision to undertake research or academic career. Students interested in STEM careers need to develop these skills and there is no better way than through hand-on training on research.
The primary focus of the STEM-undergraduate research experience program will be to encourage and facilitate the pursuit of research careers. A second purpose of the program is to assist students with interests in other science-based careers so that they gain an appreciation for the nature of research. Additional objectives include: 1) introducing students to a diversity of science and technology research, 2) preparing students for independent research, 3) fostering self-confidence and team-working ability in observation, recording, and interpreting data, 4) providing close working interaction between the faculty and student, leading to excellent mentorship opportunities, 5) providing opportunities for oral and written communications of research findings, 6) providing career guidance and information about scientific professions in academia, government, and industry, and 7) assisting students in meeting financial obligations.
The STEM enrichment activities at SUSLA are certainly to increase student awareness of high quality research in these areas. Eleven (11) students, Taylor S. Brooks, Annie P. Clark, Ellington D. Dias, Elizabeth Dyas, Kristen D. Gilliam, Antonia Q. Hall, LonTravia B. Morris, Charles E. Newton, Aterica Pearson, Andrenique Robinson and Josie C. Young. participated Thursday, July 29, 2011 presenting their Summer research work. Student were asked to present their research orally (power point presentation). Oral presentations used the follow the format of a professional scientific meeting. This symposium was open to the public, mentors, faculty and mentors from the partner institutions. Written reports adhered to scientific publication format and were reviewed as described in the program evaluation techniques.
The existence of STEM projects on the SUSLA campus community will provide students with wide exposure to become familiar with research programs during the academic years. SUSLA has established partnerships with other institutions, federal labs and private companies who will offer the students opportunities to participate in research during the summer. In the past, scientists from these institutes have been very supportive of our undergraduate enrichment programs. They have come to the SUSLA campus to present seminars, to extend their support and have invited our faculty and students to visit their laboratories. We strongly feel that the purposed enrichment activities will develop a student?s scientific community and interest in the pursuit of research careers in the STEM areas.
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