The University of Alabama College of Engineering recently showcased student research from across the state and encouraged professional development among underrepresented minority students at a conference on campus.
As lead institution of the Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, or ALSAMP, the University hosted the organization’s Spring Research Conference featuring student research in science, technology, engineering and math, better known as STEM fields.
Around 90 students and 25 faculty and staff from the nine ALSAMP alliance institutions participated in events of the weekend including guest speakers, a graduate school panel, an industry panel and the poster presentation sessions.
“It’s really about empowering and building a sense of self-efficacy and belonging for these students to help them persist in the STEM fields.” Dr. Viola L. Acoff, project manager of ALSAMP and associate dean of undergraduate and graduate programs in UA’s College of Engineering.
The goal of ALSAMP, a National Science Foundation funded program, is to increase the quality and quantity of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in the STEM fields. This is done through studying and implementing the best practices in STEM education and research experiences for undergraduates.
The keynote speaker for this event was Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, a former ALSAMP student herself. She received her undergraduate degree at Alabama A&M University and her doctorate in physics at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Green is now working with a foundation that she started to treat cancer cells using lasers.
The ALSAMP spring research conference took place April 15-16 at Hotel Capstone, and the students involved came from all nine ALSAMP alliance schools: The University of Alabama, Alabama A&M University, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Oakwood University, Stillman College, Miles College, Talladega College and the University of South Alabama.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.