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LSAMP encourages minority STEM students to seek new opportunities.

Joelle Gates

Joelle Gates

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Marshall University’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program welcomed new members during an informational meeting Wednesday.

The program, which is intended for minority students, was created to increase enrollment and graduation rates for students who are STEM majors.

“We have a great approach that many students will benefit from,” LSAMP project director Girmay Berhie said. “This is a program that will make a difference in our school.”

Throughout the year, the LSAMP equips minority students with different resources within their majors, including research and conference opportunities.

“This program is going to give students the opportunity to participate in modern day STEM based fields,” Anthony Woart, chair of the department of public health, said.

As one of the only universities in West Virginia to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to do STEM research, Berhie said he is excited to connect students with future opportunities.

“The program has a very strong faculty who is confident in helping students with research,” Berhie said. “We have all the necessary skills that could help make a difference in students’ lives.”

Along with welcoming new members, students in the program were able to share stories of how they have benefitted from the program’s resources during Wednesday’s meeting.

“[LSAMP] is definitely a good experience for personal growth,” Miranda Scott, a junior exercise physiology major, said. “I think it would be a big regret for someone to come to college and not network with people in the field you’d like to be in.”

While research opportunities are a large perk within the program, Jack Brown, a sophomore computer and information technology major said that finding a place within the program has been of the best aspects of LSAMP.

“It’s been very positive for me,” Brown said. “I’ve got a lot of networking done and have met people a lot of great people.”

Although this was only the first meeting of the year, Scott said she’s excited to see what will unfold within the program.

“I’m excited to attend research symposiums,” Scott said. “It’s inspiring to see people our age present research and find a place within the field.”

A second informational meeting will be 7 p.m. Thursday in the Shawkey Dining Room.

Joelle Gates can be contacted at [email protected]

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