Central NY Colleges Form Alliance to Help Retain Underrepresented Students in STEM

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An alliance of colleges and universities throughout Central New York will use a $1.99 million grant from the National Science Foundation to attract and retain students from underrepresented backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The group, called the Central New York LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation) Alliance, will be led by Ithaca College and will include SUNY Cortland, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Elmira College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Herkimer College and Tompkins Cortland Community College.

“The main goals are to increase the number of these students in STEM majors, retain them as STEM majors and have them graduate and either obtain jobs in STEM fields or enroll in STEM-based graduate school programs,” said Dr. Patricia Conklin, professor and chair of the Biological Sciences Department at SUNY Cortland. In doing so, the college has planned a series of workshops, seminars, community-building exercises and one-on-one research experiences with faculty for first-year and transfer students.

Named after the first African-American member of Congress from Ohio, the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation alliances were created by the NSF in 1991 to diversify the nation’s STEM workforce.