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Title: Minority Summer Research Program in the Plant Sciences

Gutierrez and Larcom (2000) suggest that ''According to the National Science Foundation/Division of Science Resources Studies in 1997, the percentage distribution of scientists and engineers in the labor force by race/ethnicity changed little between 1993 and 1997''. According to this report, Black, non-Hispanic went from 3.6 in 1993 to 3.4 in 1997. Hispanic went from 3.0 in 1993 to 3.1 in 1997; and American Indian/Alaskan Native stayed the same at 0.3 during the same period. The only exceptions were a slight increase in the percentage of Asian from 9.2 in 1993 to 10.4 in 1997, while a slight decrease in percentage White from 83.9 in 1993 to 82.8 in 1997. Overall, no major changes in minorities were present in the science and engineering fields during that period. These data shows that major efforts are needed in order to improve and achieve better results for diversity in the workplace (Gutierrez & Larcom, 2000). This does not mean that major steps have not been taken over this period. For example, the Minority Summer Research Program in Plant Sciences (also funded in part by NSF under the title, ''Undergraduate Researchers in Plant Sciences Program'') was established in an effort to enhance the diversitymore » of the plant science community. The Minority Summer Research Program in Plant Sciences was designed to encourage members of underrepresented groups to seek career opportunities in the plant sciences. To achieve this end, the program contained several components with the primary focus on mentored research for undergraduate students. The research experience was provided during the summer months on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. At the end of the summer experience, each participant presented an oral report on their research, and submitted a written paper on the same topic. This was deliberately designed to mimic the plant science professions in which research leads to presentations in the form of reports, papers, etc. In addition to the program's research component, the participants met twice each week with the co-coordinators, William Gordon and Ken Poff, for an ''enrichment''. One ''enrichment'' each week was dedicated to a seminar or field experience designed to broaden the participants views of the plant sciences. The second ''enrichment'' was designed to teach strategies for successfully crossing cultural barriers, and to develop the skills necessary for success in admissions to and successful completion of graduate school. During the eleven-year duration of the program, participants have included students from underrepresented populations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), an Hispanic Serving Institution (MSI), and a Native American transfer student from a Tribal College (Table I).« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
899895
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-97ER20284
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE - Office of Energy Research (ER)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; MINORITY GROUPS; EDUCATION; BOTANY; EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES; RESEARCH PROGRAMS plant biology; undergraduate; research; minority; training