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LSAMP at Bennett College For Women                                                    

 February, 2009

At Bennett College for Women, recruiting for the VA-NC LSAMP program has definitely not been a problem. Even though there are requirements in terms of GPA (3.0) and commitment of time (80% of the activities), currently we have a total of nineteen LSAMP scholars at Bennett: sixteen biology majors, two math and computer sciences majors, and one chemistry major. The majority of the scholars are currently sophomores but the program also counts two freshwomen and two juniors.  These students are exposed to an array of different experiences: from tutoring to colloquiums, from monthly meetings to trips to the VA-NC LSAMP partner institutions.  All these opportunities not only expose the scholars to the research being done but also to the campus atmosphere in bigger graduate institutions. Networking with other students and faculty is key in creating summer internship possibilities, a big part of the LSAMP mentoring goal. LSAMP activities at Bennett include:  

  • Tutoring: The Center for Math and Science Success was created at Bennett with the goal of being a place where LSAMP scholars could meet, work in the computer and printer station, and also where tutoring is available from Monday to Thursday to all Bennett students. Faculty and peer-tutors have been hired to mentor students in Math, General and Organic Chemistry, Biology and Zoology. These are considered “gate keeper” courses at Bennett College and the objective is to reach an even bigger audience now that the LSAMP tutoring is becoming part of the “conversation” among students. 
  • Colloquiums: Not only the LSAMP scholars, but all the STEM majors at Bennett, have benefitted from invited speakers who have been successful in the sciences and share their research as well as their path to success. With this in mind LSAMP partnered with the HBCU-UP project at Bennett and invited two speakers in the Fall of 2008 for the “LSAMP-HBCU-UP Colloquiums at Bennett”:
    • Dr. Adem Ibrahim, an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Norfolk State University visited Bennett on September 8th when he presented different applications of computational science in current research.
    • Ms. Cortina McCurry, a PhD candidate at the MIT, Department of Neurosciences, presented a lecture entitled “Neuroscience at MIT: Peering into the developing brain” this past November 20th. Ms. McCurry, a young African American scientist about to receive her PhD, shared not only her research but also her history from a high school in Alaska to the MIT program.
  • Trips: During 2008, the LSAMP scholars attended the following meetings:
    • The first VA-NC LSAMP Annual Symposium and Undergraduate Research Day at St. Augustine’s College in March.
    • The Undergraduate and Prospective Graduate Research Day at Virginia Tech in April.
    • The Graduate School Application Retreat (only for juniors) at Virginia Tech in September.
    • The Diversity Career Day at the University of Virginia in October.
  • STEM Fair: Once again partnering with the HBCU-UP project has been key for LSAMP at Bennett College to reach its goals. In March 18th of 2009, Bennett will host its 3rd STEM Fair, when high schools in the Greensboro area are invited for a morning of science exposure. For the first time, this Fair is a joint effort between the LSAMP and HBCU-UP at Bennett College with the participation of the Math, Biology and Chemistry Departments. Outreach is a key component for both of these NSF funded projects.


Dr. Cristina Moreira

December 15, 2008