STEM students present at statewide research symposium

UIC students who participate in the STEM Initiative through the President’s Award Program presented their original research in February at the Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Research Symposium.

Students entering UIC join the STEM Initiative through participation in a summer research program, the STEM CoLab, under Donald Wink, professor of chemistry. In their second semester, these first-year students take time out of their schedules — in the midst of midterms — to attend the academic conference, presenting their research findings alongside upperclassmen and graduate students from UIC and across the state of Illinois. This marks the eighth year in which the cohort of STEM Initiative students represented UIC’s undergraduate research excellence at the LSAMP conference, while networking with peers and gaining inspiration as well as practical advice from STEM professionals.

The program included a keynote address by Thomas Searles (UIC, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) and plenary speakers, including Joe F. Bozeman III (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Bernie Santarsiero (UIC Graduate College); Diandra Vaval Taylor (UIC post-doctoral research associate) led a breakout session on Early STEM Experiences.

The STEM Initiative was established at UIC in 2015 to increase the number of students earning undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at UIC. The STEM Initiative is under the umbrella of the President’s Award Program, one of the most prestigious scholarships at the University of Illinois. PAP was established in 1985 to recognize and award students graduating from Illinois high schools who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and who represent the rich diversity of the State of Illinois.

The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program is an alliance-based program of the National Science Foundation with the overall goal of assisting universities and colleges in diversifying the nation’s STEM workforce by increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees awarded to those historically underrepresented in these disciplines.

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