Nearly 230 attendees from across Oregon, Washington, and Idaho gathered for the third-annual 2012 Pacific Northwest Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Conference, hosted by Oregon State on February 10 and 11. The conference supported LSAMP’s effort of increasing the quality and quantity of underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree programs.
“A yearly conference is a great opportunity for underrepresented STEM students to meet peers and faculty from other universities in the Northwest,” said Ellen Momsen, director of the college’s Women and Minorities in Engineering and a key conference organizer.
Sponsored by Eaton, Xerox, Intel, and SolarWorld, the conference was packed with breakout sessions and speakers, covering everything from how to present scientific research to effective mentoring.
Friday’s keynote—Dr. Tyrone Hayes—shared his integrative approach to understanding how exogenous hormones and endocrine disruptors affect developing tadpoles. In addition, D
r. Larry Roper, the keynote for Saturday, reflected on his leadership role as vice provost for Student Affairs and professor of ethnic studies at Oregon State.
Student sessions were particularly well attended, including a session with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on internship opportunities, and a tour of Oregon State. Momsen estimates that 100 people participated in the tour. “I heard from many students about how beautiful the OSU campus is, and there was a lot of interest in our graduate program,” she said.
Momsen said the conference played an important role in increasing pathways to college for URM students while strengthening their interest in pursuing STEM disciplines.
“Our goal is to create a culture and community of success to improve retention and graduation rates, because graduating a diverse population of engineering and science professionals is critical to meeting the STEM workforce demands of our nation,” she said.
For more information: http://www.pnw-lsamp.org/