Trisha L. Andrew, associate professor of chemistry, recently received a $2,500 L’Oréal USA Changing the Face of STEM grant to increase hands-on research opportunities for community college students.
Over the 2018-19 academic year, Andrew and her research group will train interns from Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) to create garment-integrated sensors, an effort that she hopes will “entice a diverse student population to become scientists and fortify the number of underrepresented students in chemistry and engineering.”
STCC offers students a program called STEM Starter Academy to enhance students’ readiness for STEM jobs or to transfer to a four-year academic STEM program. Andrew has previously participated in annual “maker” events organized by STCC and has worked with STCC faculty to encourage graduates of its Starter Academy to pursue degrees at UMass Amherst.
With this grant, Andrew says she plans to provide potential interns with a stipend, an important step in growing the program and establishing deeper ties with STCC.