Celebrating the Legacy of Congressman Stokes and 25 years of Success
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Louis Stoke's Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Research Symposium at the National Harbor in Maryland. The program is named after the late Congressman Stokes who used his elected positions to advocate tirelessly for equal rights and opportunities for African Americans. LSAMP is a program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) that was established in 1991. It is a program dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of minorities who complete baccalaureate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Furthermore, LSAMP aims to increase the number of minority students who continue onto graduate studies in STEM.
During this conference, students and faculty from various LSAMP institutions as well as a number of individuals from NSF and industry came together to celebrate the legacy of Congressman Stokes and reflect on the 25 years of success of the LSAMP program. In addition, LSAMP fellows had the opportunity to share their research during the conference. The Conference also featured performances by the Lepquinm Gumilgit Gagoadim (Our Own Dance in Our Heart) Tsimshian dancers and Johnny Walker, and speakers that included Dr. Samuel Betances, Dr. Vincent Tinto, Dr. France Córdova, and Dr. Jo Handelsman. Near the end of the conference, a panel of Alumni LSAMP fellows shared their personal narratives of how the LSAMP program enhanced their graduate school experience.
Attending the the LSAMP research conference was such an rewarding experience. Presenting at the conference gave me the opportunity to practice talking about my research to a diverse audience. Being able to communicate your research to a non-technical audience is an essential skill every scientist should have and I am currently working on refining it myself. In addition, I had the opportunity to meet other LSAMP students and hear about research in other disciplines that include chemical engineering, environmental science, civil engineering. Listening to their research allowed me to learn and gain an appreciation about work centered on creating non-invasive technologies for measuring blood glucose levels, understanding biodiversity within the environment, and creating technologies for reducing the concentration of fluoride in water within a developing country.
Much thanks and appreciation goes out to the people who are involved in organizing the LSAMP program. More specifically, I would like to thank the program directors, Dr. Tasha Inniss and Dr. James Hicks for their hard work in creating the opportunity for students like myself to pursue a graduate degree. I look forward to future LSAMP events and also moving forward in my graduate career as a LSAMP fellow!