STEM Diversity Institute Hosts Research Fair for Undergraduates

More than 80 undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors from underrepresented groups attended the first Research Opportunities Fair sponsored by the STEM Diversity Institute (SDI) on Nov. 6.

Attendees met representatives from the universities of Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Boston College, Boston University, Pennsylvania State University and Corning, Inc. Representatives from the STEM Diversity Institute, the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Education and the Office of Undergraduate Research also met with STEM majors to discuss on-campus options.

Students learned about summer and academic year research opportunities, many of which are funded by the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health. They also heard from panels of current SDI graduate students about the importance of obtaining undergraduate research experience to further their careers and about why they should consider pursuing Ph.D. degrees in STEM.

The event followed a Graduate Preview Weekend on Oct. 18-19 that was hosted by the NIH-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program of the STEM Diversity Institute. The preview focused on the wide variety of training opportunities available in STEM Ph.D. programs on campus.

Seventeen prospective graduate students from underrepresented groups traveled from as far away as Puerto Rico and California to attend the session. Visiting students heard presentations by STEM graduate program directors, met with STEM faculty members and participated in discussions with current students about research. Students also toured the state-of-the-art laboratory and research facilities on campus.