2015 Conference Presentations


Accelerating Diverse Talent Along the STEM Pipeline, Mary F. Howard-Hamilton  | Howard References STEM

Jamaal Abdul-Alim (coming soon)

LSAMP and Bridge to the Doctorate Updates, Tasha R. Inniss


Session 1, Saturday, 10:00-11:00 AM

Academic IntegrationAcademic IntegrationCommunity BuildingEffective RecruitmentProfessional DevelopmentStudent Professional Development

PANEL: Community College to 4-Year Institution Success Stories and Best Practices

  • Chuck Benton, Madison College, WiscLSAMP (PDF)
  • Eda Davis-Lowe, Valencia College, CFTS (PDF)
  • Maia Randle, Columbus State Community College, OHLSAMP (PDF)
  • U. Sunday Tim, Iowa State University; Nancy Woods, Des Moines Area Community College, IINSPIRE (PDF)
  • Vicentica Valdes, Onondaga Community College, SUNY (PDF)

Panel Bios

Creative Inquiry Research, Service-Learning, and International Studies: Program Management on the Web for Improved Workflow and Reporting

Barbara Speziale, Professor and Associate Dean, Jonathan Harp, Programmer, Clemson University

Clemson University’s Creative Inquiry (CI) program provides an exceptionally flexible model for undergraduate research that encourages curriculum innovation, multidisciplinary collaborations, and activities that generate impacts locally and internationally. Each semester, CI supports more than 500 research teams enrolling approximately 2,500 undergraduates in all academic disciplines. Examples of innovative projects will be described. In order to efficiently manage such a large program and to catalog accomplishments, we implemented database-driven project management. In this session, we will demonstrate how we utilize “My CI”—a simple web application and backend database—to review, fund, document, and manage hundreds of projects involving thousands of students. “My CI” draws information from university registration and financial databases. As such, it provides instant access to lists of enrolled students and budget balances. From approving projects to communicating with team leaders and students to warehousing project information, multimedia assets, annual reports, and citations, “My CI” has streamlined program administration, allowing rapid production of up-to-date reports and saving energy and time.

Utilizing the LSAMP Access Database (Supporting Documentation)

Tyler Cole, Program Manager, Ohio LSAMP Alliance; Holly Oakleaf, Institutional Research, The Ohio State University; and Candice Quinn, LSAMP Program Coordinator, Cleveland State University

The Ohio LSAMP Alliance has worked with the Office of Institutional Research at The Ohio State University to create an Access database that will store the alliance’s data. This session will provide an overview of the alliance’s data needs, how the system will be used to meet each of those needs, and the roles of the database users and managers. It also will provide a live demonstration for end users. A representative from the Office Institutional Research will provide information about the design and maintenance of the database. A site-coordinator from a partner institution will provide insight on the ease of use and unique features.


Getting In and Making It: Best Practices to Enhance Graduate Student Success from Recruitment to Career Transitions (coming soon)

NaShara Mitchell, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Student Development; Director, Preparing Future Faculty and Professionals, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, University Graduate School, Indiana University

Graduate student success begins with recruitment and ends with students’ transition to their choice careers. Using a three-pronged approach of “Getting You To, Into, and Through,” this session will review best practices engaged by IUPUI for awareness, admission, and graduation of underrepresented minority students from graduate school. This session will also highlight collaborative partnerships, programs, and innovative student career outcomes for graduate students.

Bridge to Doctorate Presentations
(3 15-minute sessions

Presentation 1:

Genomic Architecture of Eyespot Number Variation in the Butterfly Bicyclus Anynana (unavailable)

Angel Rivera-Colon, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Bridge to the Doctorate Graduate

Presentation 2:

The Role of AREs, HuR, and p38 MAPK in the Post-transcriptional Regulation of Interleukin-3 (unavailable)

Maria Fernanda Duque-Osorno, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Presentation 3:

Cationic Polymerization of Styrene Utilizing Metal-Free, Boron-Rich Cluster Photocatalysts (unavailable)

Marco Messina, University of California, Los Angeles

How to Navigate and Build Your Professional Network in STEM (10 am -1 pm)

Brian ThomasPresenter:  Brian Thomas (bio)

Networking Themes: Global presence, cultural sensitivity, language barriers, and social engagement

Poster/Career Fair Readiness: Brand management, purposeful speaking, and leaving a lasting impression

Student-centered conference activities will equip students with quick, easy to incorporate skills to help guide their STEM career. Through hands-on workshop activities and conference events students will be given the opportunity to ask specific questions and practice what they’ve learned in different settings throughout the conference. Today’s job market demands applicants understand networking both online and in-person, as well non-verbal cues in informal social interactions. These workshops will help students show up prepared to engage in professional networking.

Education is the Combination of Character and Intelligence. In today’s global market STEM careers stretch beyond the cubicle. There are critical skills, techniques, and social navigation required to secure employment. This workshop will highlight industry requirements, both written and non-written, that can illuminate the path to success for future STEM pioneers. This interactive workshop will share valuable insider insight on the importance of Networking and Brand Management. Understanding the value of connecting with others and a professional identity will prepare students to sail across the finish line to GREATNESS.

Session 2, Saturday, 11:15 -12:15 PM


Academic IntegrationCommunity BuildingEffective RecruitmentProfessional DevelopmentStudent Professional DevelopmentStudent Professional Development

Innovative interventions that fortify students' mathematical knowledge and increase success during the first two years of STEM undergraduate studies
(3 15-minute presentations )

Mathematical sciences is one area study in which underrepresented minority student retention and degree achievement is most challenged. This session provides insight as to the programs and initiatives implemented at three universities, which have shown success in increasing retention in underrepresented minorities seeking a degree in the mathematical sciences.

The invited speakers are:

  • Donna Stallings, M.S., Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Technology & Mathematics, Lincoln University (PDF)
  • Kevin Berkopes, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (PDF)
  • Tuncay Aktosun, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Texas at Arlington (PDF)

Building a Community of Scholars: Results of the Annual Survey of The Ohio LSAMP Alliance

Barbara A. Fink, O.D., Ph.D., OH-LSAMP Alliance Director; Professor, The Ohio State University

From mid-March through mid-May 2015, the seven four-year institutions and four community colleges of The Ohio LSAMP Alliance invited more than 5,600 students to complete the LSAMP annual survey. The findings provide information about the preliminary impacts of The Ohio LSAMP Alliance on active Level 1 scholars. A significantly greater percentage of Level 1 LSAMP scholars compared to Level 2 students lived in campus residence halls, were more comfortable talking with teaching assistants and faculty about problems in courses, participated in at least one study group, and were satisfied with the academic advising they received. Notably, more Level 1 LSAMP scholars had advisors (95% versus 86% of Level 2) and faculty mentors (62%) in their major fields. Significant differences were also manifest between the two groups on every item measuring social integration. Level 1 LSAMP scholars were more involved in campus activities than their Level 2 counterparts, were more comfortable making friends with people from different backgrounds, and reported significantly greater, regular encouragement from mentors and faculty than Level 2 students. Far more Level 1 LSAMP scholars than Level 2 students participated in early arrival and Summer Bridge programs, and these preparatory experiences had positive impacts on their academic success and persistence in STEM. Overall, students confirmed that the programs, events, and guidance that the partner institutions offer are effective supports that help them connect with peers and stay on track academically. These and other results of The Ohio LSAMP Alliance annual survey will be presented.

Inclusion and Equity Matters: The Role of Community Colleges in Diversifying the STEM Pipeline

Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, Professor of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Near the turn of the 20th century, community colleges emerged as one of the most innovative educational creations in the United States, spurring unprecedented postsecondary access and opportunity. Well over 100 years later, this unique American invention serves as the primary vehicle for accessing higher education for millions who would not otherwise be collegians. Enrolling nearly half of all undergraduates, U.S. community colleges serve an important role in the college and career advancement of diverse learners. Community colleges were historically prisoners of institutional elitism, overlooked institutions within the academy that largely served marginalized populations. Community colleges have received favorable regard becoming a centerpiece of educational reform efforts as well as economic recovery initiatives and workforce development in recent years. This session will highlight the varieties of community colleges, student demographics, characteristics of the faculty/administrators, and curriculum missions (including transfer and CTE/STEM). In particular, the presentation will discuss the challenges and opportunities for underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students in STEM at community colleges and the need to maximize community colleges in diversifying the STEM pipeline.

The US/France/Belgium iREU program, funding for LSMCE faculty mentors, and a new “Research Abroad” European Master’s Degree Program

Randy Duran, Ph.D., Materials Cain Chair in Science, Technological, Engineering, and Mathematical Literacy, Louisiana State University; and LeRoy Jones II, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Chicago State University

This session will introduce research in the context of the European Union’s undergraduate and graduate curricula.  It will also highlight was in which LSMCE faculty and students can approach colleagues abroad and launch collaborations.  Finally a new seed grant program for LSMCE mentors will be introduced.

Preparing a Career in Science

Harold Bryant, L’Oreal USA

This talk will focus on four key topics: how to get an opportunity, finding a good match, standing out on a high performing team, and planning for future roles. We will review corporate recruitment strategies and student touch points. As students transition from school to work, it is critical they find a good fit between technical skills, work style, and values to provide the best potential for success. As such, we will look at some differences between industries. Once students enter their first jobs and are beyond the orientation period, there are keys to making a strong “second” impression and considerations as they seek to move up the corporate ladder.

How to Navigate and Build Your Professional Network in STEM (10 am -1 pm)

Brian ThomasPresenter:  Brian Thomas (bio)

Continuation of the undergraduate student workshop.


Session 3, Sunday, 10:00 -11:00 AM

Academic IntegrationCommunity BuildingCommunity BuildingCommunity BuildingStudent Professional DevelopmentStudent Professional Development

(2  25-minute presentations)

Presentation 1:

First Year Research Experience (FYRE) Program at Loyola University Chicago

Linda C. Brazdil, Kelsey Plunk, and Stacy Wenzel, Loyola University Chicago

The Loyola University Chicago (LUC) First Year Research Experience (FYRE) Program, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, places new STEM majors in a full-year research-intensive STEM learning community that includes academic and social support services, an introduction-to-research seminar course, and a three-week summer research residency. The program aims to implement strategies that improve STEM student persistence, particularly among those who belong to groups underrepresented in STEM majors and careers. In this session, we will discuss design and implementation of the program in its first two years. We will share our experiences with recruitment and some preliminary results about how students’ view their expectations for college and careers, their own academic abilities, and specific STEM research skills. We will explore students’ views on their financial goals and on how they become more likely to engage with faculty and other students as they continue their research or seek to move into other research experiences. There is evidence around positive relationships between FYRE and students’ confidence in carrying out research and sense of their own intellect.

Presentation 2:

Design and Development of a Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program at the University of Toledo

Anthony Quinn, Willie L. McKether, Barbara Schneider, and Tiffany Preston-Whitman, University of Toledo

During summer 2015, the University of Toledo (UT) launched its Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program (MESP), which is designed to strengthen a student’s academic performance in the first year of college. MESP candidates were selected from a pool of applicants who: 1) were admitted to the Colleges of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM) or Languages, Literature, and Social Sciences; 2) had a high school GPA between 2.00 and 3.20; and 3) had an ACT score between 16 and 20. Importantly, preference was given to applicants who self-identified as African American or Latino. Historically, the graduation rate for UT students in this demographic pursuing a bachelor’s degree in math or science is less than 10 percent. MESP students are encouraged to pursue a BA degree and a minor in social science/humanities to sharpen analytical skills, writing talents, and independent thinking. The UT MESP has two components: Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community. In the Summer Bridge component, students will participate in a math camp and earn eight college credit hours in English composition, interdisciplinary studies, and human anthropology; classes will highlight the African American and Latino experience. The Living Learning Community component will cover the regular academic year where students will continue to receive enhanced advising and join the Charles Drew Society, a UT student organization that fosters interaction among minority students majoring in science or mathematics. Strategies in developing the structure and implementation of the MESP program will be presented and discussed, as well as a summary of findings from the Summer Bridge component.

(2 25-minute presentations)

Presentation 1:

RISE@WIU: Multidisciplinary Research Program at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution

Andrea Porras-Alfaro, Brian J. Bellott, Esteban D. Araya, Charles Lydeard, Mark S. Boley, and Rose M. McConnell, Western Illinois University

The Research Inspiring Student Excellence Program at Western Illinois University (RISE@WIU) was established two years ago in the Department of Biological Sciences to serve as a model to increase participation of undergraduate students in research at WIU and at other primarily undergraduate institutions. RISE@WIU has now grown to bring together the strength of multiple departments including Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. RISE@WIU has developed a set of activities to increase participation and visibility of current research, professional, and academic opportunities for students. In the last year, we established 17 new scholarships and awards including three awards to support minority participation in research, developed new strategies to promote student accomplishments, organized the first sciences open house, and ran the first summer research program for science students at WIU. In this presentation, we will discuss the strategies used to develop and seek support for the RISE@WIU program, the current challenges, and new initiatives.

Presentation 2: TBD

PANEL: Best Practices to Building a Successful Bridge to the Doctorate Program 


Tasha R. Inniss, National Science Foundation


  • Diana Azurdia, University of California – Los Angeles (PDF)
  • Joan F. Blanton, Jackson State University
  • Denise Yates, University of Illinois at Chicago

Panel Bios

Utilizing IRVA to Build Community Within LSAMP

Rebecca Pitkow, Guardians of Honor, LLC, LSAMP Digital Library Development Team and Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence Leadership Team Member

Since 2013, Guardians of Honor (GOH) has supported the design and development of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Digital Library (LSAMP-DL) – a collection of historical program records, data, reports, articles, white papers, videos, and publications. The LSAMP-DL will enable broader dissemination of LSAMP outcomes, impacts, and evidence-based best practices by increasing accessibility to this information.Through this dissemination, Alliances are able to use what others have found successful in their programs as examples to excel in their own programs. The digital repository of historical program records will build the capacity of both the LSAMP grantee and broadening participation communities by increasing the capacity of LSAMP to foster knowledge sharing and promote diversity in STEM fields and careers.

Internships: Preparation for the Future

Meridith Bruozas, Argonne National Laboratory; Robert Schuch, Argonne National Laboratory

Experiential learning is paramount to a college education. The benefits of an undergraduate internship are numerous and well known—from networking opportunities and acquiring new technical skills to gaining college credit. In this session, we will discuss strategies for success through these opportunities. We will discuss what makes an ideal candidate and how a student can prepare for an internship at Argonne National Laboratory.

Best Practices of Putting your Professional Foot Forward

Presenter: Angela Vivar RomeroMiss OK Latina Headshot

Miss Oklahoma Latina 2014, Angela Vivar Romero, will give students practical tips and tricks for putting their best foots forward in a professional setting. The topics will include:

  • Professional dress
  • Business etiquette
  • How to creating positive, high-impact interactions with key stakeholders and individuals who can help you succeed

Workshops, Sunday, 11:15 -12:20 PM

Academic Integration WorkshopCommunity Building WorkshopStudent Professional Development Workshop

Synergistic Interaction between Community College Groups and LSAMPs to Improve Graduation and Transfer Rates

Workshop Handouts

Alexander Gates, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University 

Community colleges can be great resources to improve diversity in STEM, especially in urban areas. The problem, however, is that graduation and transfer rates are typically poor. In many areas, the three-year graduation rate hovers in the 10-15% range or less, and the rate of transfer to four-year institutions is even worse. Many students are confused with the process, overwhelmed by all of the options, and fearful of the academic demands of the four-year institutions. Through experimentation, the Garden State LSAMP has developed methods to address and potentially overcome many of these obstacles. The primary effective method is to form consortia of four-year institutions and community colleges that can synergistically interact to create well-defined pathways and seamless transfer processes. Within this arrangement, several specific methods have been designed to encourage community college students from point of admission to place their education into a large-scale cradle to career context. These methods have been tested and refined on six MSI community colleges from urban areas with continuing solid results depending upon cooperation. This workshop is designed to share the most effective techniques and results and will include readily obtainable commercial resources, internet resources, processes and forms for ready implementation, and graphics that can be used directly. Quantitative assessment of various techniques will be share, and advice for ready implementation will be offered.

Bridge to the Doctorate Alumni: How Can They Take LSAMP to the Next Level?

Benjamin Flores, PI, University of Texas System LSAMP; Helmut Knaust, Co-PI, University of Texas System LSAMP; and Ariana Arciero-Pino, Assistant Director, University of Texas System LSAMP 

Since 2003, the University of Texas System (UT) Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) has hosted multiple cohorts of STEM graduate students sponsored by the Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) program. In total, 106 graduate students have participated as BD fellows at five UT system campuses. Twenty students have earned Ph.D.s, and 47 are continuing to pursue doctorates. This is a critical mass of successful BD alumni that constitutes a substantial human resource for the UT System LSAMP. At the University of Texas at El Paso, for example, BD alumni have been judges in undergraduate student poster competitions, given professional development presentations at BD seminars, and generally served as role models for undergraduate and graduate STEM students. However, we believe that BD alumni are capable of serving in many other capacities. This workshop will focus on collecting ideas and exploring strategies to integrate BD alumni to advance the LSAMP agenda. Workshop participants will work in small round-table groups to discuss creative approaches to involve BD alumni. Each group will develop a preliminary engagement plan and share it with the greater group.

Moving Study Abroad Research to Publication: Characteristics of Successful Undergraduate Co-authors

Kay Porter, Program Manager, Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Oklahoma State University; Randy Duran, Ph.D., Materials Cain Chair in Science, Technological, Engineering, and Mathematical Literacy, Louisiana State University; and LeRoy Jones II, Ph.D., Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Chicago State University

The workshop will use a panel of students and faculty mentors to discuss international research and resulting publications. The students are part of the U.S.-France-Belgium iREU Site in Translational Chemistry program sponsored through Louisiana State University and the National Science Foundation. The program was designed to build upon and extend the international relations between students and mentors in conducting global research and producing publishable results. The panel will address cultural barriers, diversity issues, opportunities for publications, continued relationships between international and local mentors, and distinctive characteristics associated with research in a setting outside of the U.S

PANEL: Study Abroad Student Panelists

  • Edgar Campbell, Stanford University
  • Nicolas Means, Oklahoma State University
  • Karen Cossyleon, Veepak Inc.

Presenters and Panelist Bios