Public Health faculty and undergraduates encourage high school students to pursue STEM degrees

March 11, 2014

Environmental Health Sciences Assistant Professors Alicia Timme-Laragy and Richard Peltier recently attended a “meet and greet” event sponsored by the Northeast Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP). They joined UMass Amherst graduate and undergraduate students, including a number of public health majors, in welcoming high school students from the New Haven, CT, public school system to the Amherst campus.

LSAMP hosted the event to encourage first generation and minority students to pursue college degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors. Many of the high school students in attendance participate in an afterschool science program at Yale University, and the UMass Amherst faculty and students engaged them in an effort to show that pursuing an advanced STEM degree is an achievable goal.

“Both of these professors – as well as others in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences – have been tremendously receptive and supportive of the LSAMP program at UMass, including taking LSAMP scholars into their labs as undergraduate researchers,” said Johanna Fitzgerald, the UMass Amherst campus coordinator for the program.

UMass Amherst partnered with Northeastern University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Rhode Island, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute to form the Northeast LSAMP. The group receives funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to implement and enhance programs that encourage and support students in the STEM fields.

Assistant Professors Richard Peltier and Alicia Timme-Laragy (standing, from left) attend the LSAMP "Meet and Greet"