Several undergraduate and graduate students from Missouri State attended the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 21–23.
The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) started a chapter at Missouri State this semester.
LSAMP began after the registration date to present at ERN, but Deb Ehie, LSAMP graduate assistant, is confident there will be presenters from MSU next year.
LSAMP is aimed to find and retain outstanding underrepresented minority students completing a degree in a STEM field.
A National Science Foundation (NSF) grant allowed students to attend the conference.
LSAMP also wants to see more underrepresented minorities in graduate school. They offer other services as well.
“We have a LSAMP research scholar program that guides undergraduate research with a paid stipend,” Ehie said. “We also provide opportunities to travel and present research at conferences and internship opportunities.”
Drs. Tayo Obafemi-Ajayi, Jorge Rebaza and Kyoungtae Kim are the leadership team for LSAMP at Missouri State.
If you’re interested in LSAMP, apply to be a research scholar.
Highlights of the conference
There was something for everyone at this conference, from applying to master’s and PhD programs to connecting with others.
“I enjoyed the atmosphere of the conference and how encouraging it was toward underrepresented minorities in the STEM field,” Ehie said.
Vanessa Morales, an undergraduate student, echoed that.
“My favorite part out of the whole experience was seeing so many other STEM students that are also minorities,” Morales said. “Going to a school in the Midwest, it is rare to share classes with many minority students, and even less likely in STEM classes. Seeing so many other minority students pursuing careers in STEM gave me more motivation to continue my degree.”
All three students were excited about the encouraging panels and the wide variety of knowledge shared at the conference.
Obafemi-Ajayi, LSAMP site coordinator and professor, and Kim, associate dean of CNAS, also attended the conference.
About the conference
ERN hosted this conference for students of underrepresented minorities and people with disabilities.
The conference focuses on preparing students for jobs in STEM careers.