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University of Virginia


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Alliance scholars present research

around the country


The fall semester brought some great changes to the VA-NC LSAMP program at Bennett. The 2010/11 academic year is a special year for the program, since 9 of our 18 LSAMP scholars will be graduating in May. This will be a very emotional graduation since most of them have been with the program since year one and have become the “face of LSAMP” at Bennett College. Therefore, we have been all very busy helping them apply to graduate programs, compose personal statements and obtain recommendations.

We are happy to report that a new project assistant joined our team.  Her name is Ms. Wanda Kellyman and she comes to us with lots of experience with the school system, a Masters in Special Education and a great attitude towards our goals and our scholars. Please help us welcome Wanda to the LSAMP family: her email address is

During the fall semester, the LSAMP scholars participated in the following activities:

  • September 25-26: Five LSAMP seniors attended the Graduate Prep Retreat at VA Tech and came back energized with revamped personal statements and resumes.
  • October 7 -8: Keyona Smith presented her summer research at the Science 2010 Transformations at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • November 11-13: Charmel Holland presented her summer research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Charlotte.
  • November 12: Sixteen LSAMP scholars attended the NC OPT-ED conference at the Greensboro Coliseum. Scholars Keyona Smith, Shoteria Pearson, Lanisha Brown, Sada Boyd, Ebonitta Boykin and Ashley Barham presented oral talks and posters reflecting their summer research.
  • November 17: Seven LSAMP scholars shared their summer research and goals with Bennett’s Science Division in a student panel format. This event was well attended by other science students whom we hope will be inspired by the success of their peers.


Above, Bennett Alliance students Sada Boyd (left) and Keyona Smith (right) present their research.

Our Sisters in Science collaboration with the Early College of Bennett begins in the spring semester. Eight high school students were selected by Dr. Coble, the school’s principal, for their high interest in the sciences. They will participate in the upcoming LSAMP meeting, where they will be paired with a LSAMP scholar for mentorship. We truly believe this can create a great venue to attract new Bennett students who are serious about following a science career.

Five Bennett LSAMP scholars have been invited by Dr. Renee Moore (Bennett Belle, currently an assistant professor of Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania) to attend the ENAR Fostering Diversity in Biostatistics Workshop to be held on Sunday, March 20, 2011 in Miami, Florida.

A presentation from Bennett College was part of the program at the Undergraduate Research Celebration in the Nation’s Capitol, Library of Congress, on October 27, sponsored by CUR (Council of Undergraduate Research).  In her Power Point presentation, Ms. Prestina Smith, LSAMP scholar and Class of 2010, discussed how her research training at Bennett and in summer internships assisted her with her studies and also in her graduate school choice.  Prestina is currently attending the University of California Santa Cruz (BD Program in Biomedical Sciences & Engineering-Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology).

back to Spring 2011 E-Newsletter