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McHenry to chair 25th Annual LSAMP Research Symposium this month

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Jackson State University (JSU) Chemistry Professor and Mississippi e-Center@JSU Director, Dr. William McHenry, is chairman of the 25th Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Research Symposium. More than 600 people are expected to attend the symposium and banquet February 22 – 24 at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

Dr. France Cordova

Dr. France Cordova

The LSAMP is considered the “crown jewel” of federal programs designed to broaden participation of African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). McHenry said universities receiving LSAMP funding through the National Science Foundation (NSF) have graduated more than 500,000 minority students in STEM.McHenry became the first LSAMP program director in 1991. Mississippi’s eight public universities were among the first group of institutions funded by the program.

NSF Director France A. Cordova will be among prominent speakers highlighting “What Works.” McHenry says summer bridge programs, peer-to-peer mentoring, drop-in tutoring structures, and undergraduate research opportunities are a few of the activities that have a high return on institutional investment.

“Leadership is also key to the LSAMP program’s success,” said McHenry. When U.S. presidents demonstrate their commitment to broadening participation, minorities achieve in STEM.”

There are 45 LSAMP programs at nearly 500 universities across the U.S.

McHenry points to JSU’s chemistry department as a stellar example of the program’s success. He says JSU has produced more African-American chemists over the past several years in America than any other university in the country.

 “JSU is the only university in the nation that has ever had four African-American females onstage at the same time who recently were awarded Ph.D.s in chemistry,” said McHenry.

This year’s symposium includes a banquet that will honor the life and commitment of the late U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes, for whom the STEM initiative is named because of the Ohio lawmaker’s relentless effort to create a diverse workforce in the U.S. For more information and to register for events, visit www.LSAMPsymposium.org.