Selected Project Highlights
Strengthening Students' Research Skills Through Intensive Mentorship
In the Eastern Region (Morgan State University, Prince George's Community College, University of Maryland-College Park), the Enhanced Research Training Opportunities for Ethnic Minority Students in Psychology (ETEP) Program, which relies on 15 faculty mentors from all of the region's three participating institutions, is a 2-year program that includes an intensive 11-week summer program at the University of Maryland, hands-on laboratory work, maintenance of a research journal, and instruction on scholarly presentations and publication. During the following school year, ETEP students are expected to complete a research project, draft a report of findings, and make a formal scholarly presentation. The 1999 summer ETEP program will include nine students from all of the region's three institutions.
Chicago State University has established a Summer Undergraduate Research (SURE) Program that involves 6 weeks of intensive research on topics relevant to multicultural undergraduate populations. During the summer of 1999, the program will involve five Truman Community College students and two CSU students.
The Southeast Region's (Florida International University, Miami-Dade Community College, University of Miami) Psychology Research Incentives Mentorship Experience (PRIME) project involves a 1-credit preparatory course, a 10-week summer research mentorship with 22 participating faculty members at the University of Miami. This is supplemented by weekly group meetings, end-of-summer science fair/poster presentations, and academic year mentored research collaborations. The summer program has 8 to 10 students.
The UCLA Scholars Program involves 10 students from all of the region's institutions in a 2-year program of intensive mentoring and support. Upon completing the program, students are expected to make a formal research presentation.
Florida International University (FIU) developed a summer research internship program specifically designed for FIU students who are transferring from the Florida Community College system. The program seeks to attract students interested in research immediately after they have entered the university.
A New Scholars in Psychology Program (NSPP) has been established at Santa Monica College, in which eight students currently participate. This program involves faculty mentoring, lectures, site visits, etc.
At Prince George's Community College (Eastern Region), NSF Start project funds matched APA/NIGMS funds to jointly sponsor a full-day conference on "Science, Technology, and Research Training" that involved Derrick Tabor, PhD, of NIGMS as the keynote speaker, other project faculty, and student presentations. Nearly 300 students attended.
As a result of a partnership with Allyn and Bacon, McGraw Hill, and International Thomson Publishing Company, project students and faculty at Prince George's Community College have received software appropriate for instructional and research activities in the biomedical and social sciences.
At Chicago State University (Midwest Region), the APA/NIGMS Project and the Chemistry Department (through use of NIH grant funds) pooled dollars and provided an 8-week GRE preparation program for 20 students in psychology, biology, chemistry, and math.
Based on information obtained by several project faculty members and students at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium conference in Billings, Montana, the Rocky Mountain region will seek to collaboratively develop and implement a culturally relevant model of educational experience.
At Santa Monica College, Core Team Leader Karen Gunn, PhD, conducted project informational meetings throughout the institution to explore potential collaborations with key offices and officials, including the Career Center, Black Collegians Program, PIC-Partnership Program, Bilingual Education Program, Transfer Center, Latino Center/Adelante Program, Women's Center, Learning Resource Center, Disabled Students Center, deans from six academic areas of the campus, and the president and vice president of the college.
As a means of introducing students to biomedical issues early in their higher education career, Truman Community College has developed two biopsychology combination classes that are team taught by psychology and biology faculty. The classes include visits to biopsychology research laboratories at major research universities in the Chicago area. In spring 1998, of 17 students enrolled, 13 were ethnic minorities. In the fall of 1998, of 24 students enrolled, 12 were ethnic minorities.
Sinte Gleska University (Rocky Mountain Region) has developed a research laboratory in memory of Core Team Member Rodger Hornby. SPSS computer software was purchased for the laboratory.
The Southeast Region developed a new course that was conducted at the University of Miami and Miami-Dade Community College. The course seeks to familiarize undergraduate students with research and career opportunities in psychobiology, prepare them for entering into the PRIME Summer Research Program, encourage them to major in psychology and to pursue graduate studies. In the fall of 1998, of 17 students enrolled in the course, 11 were ethnic minority.
"Truman College Night at Chicago State" serves to introduce community college students to a 4-year state university environment by providing Truman Community College students free admittance with one guest to a basketball game at CSU.
Truman Community College students visited Chicago State University for a demonstration in its electron microscopy laboratory, a meeting with CSU faculty and student members of Psi Chi, and lunch in the Student Union Building.
Faculty and student representatives from all of the project's Rocky Mountain Region institutions attended the "Building Bridges" conference, which explored ways to integrate cultural values-especially American Indians'-and was organized by the Students of Color in Psychology (SCIP) at the University of South Dakota.
Representatives from the Rocky Mountain region also attended the "Red Road Retreat," which explored a holistic approach to wellness informed by Native American cultural values and led by one of the region's cultural/ spiritual advisors, Mr. Gene Thin Elk.
Faculty, students, community members, and the cultural/spiritual advisor of Sinte Gleska University visited the University of South Dakota and its department of psychology, library, behavior laboratory, and crisis/disaster management and counseling program.
The Southeast Region developed a lecture series featuring presentations by University of Miami faculty and graduate students and Miami-Dade Community College faculty. Four to six lectures are presented each semester, with attendance varying from 5 to 40 persons.
The Southeast Region has developed a project Web page.
The Western Region (California State-Dominguez Hills, Santa Monica College, UCLA) has developed a workshop series that focuses on psychology career issues, requirements for training at each professional level, preparing for graduate school, and research training opportunities. Faculty and graduate students from CSUDH and UCLA conduct three to four workshops each year, which are held on a rotating basis at all of the regional institutions. The region also has developed a research lecture series that features ethnic minority biomedical lecturers.
UCLA hosted a laboratory visit with students and faculty from California State University-Dominguez Hills, which included a research presentation, meetings with several UCLA faculty members, and a meeting with graduate students from UCLA's Committee of Students Concerned about Ethnic Issues.
The Chicago State University (Midwest Region) has established a multidisciplinary Life Sciences Center (LSC), which seeks to provide exposure, encouragement, and educational experiences for students interested in the life sciences, especially in the areas of biology, chemistry, computer science, ecology, engineering, mathematics, physics, and psychology. The LSC provides resource information on graduate school programs, admissions criteria, application procedures; GRE information; graduate school financial aid; psychology journal archives for journals not available at the CSU library, as well as books and materials on ethnic diversity in science; information on internships, summer programs, and career planning. The LSC is staffed by CSU students under the direction of Ivy Dunn, PhD. Dunn, the CSU core team leader, is the LSC faculty advisor. More than 100 students visited the LSC in 1998-1999.
In the Rocky Mountain Region (Dull Knife Memorial College, Sinte Gleska University, University of South Dakota), cultural/spiritual advisors have been identified and supported at each regional institution. These persons participate in individual and group meetings with American Indian students at each of the region's participating institutions and seek to address these students' experiences of cultural differences and discomfort with dominant social mores and the academic culture. In addition, informational materials and orientation documents have been developed for new students and their family members.
The Rocky Mountain Region is establishing a student peer-mentoring program. During the summer of 1999, 5 to 10 students from each of the region's institutions will participate in a student mentor training program at the University of South Dakota. Participating students will receive 3 credit hours from the regional institution of their choice.
UCLA and California State University-Dominguez Hills collaboratively developed a GRE preparation program that included a workshop offered by Princeton Review on preparing graduate school applications.
The California State University-Dominguez Hills project in collaboration with CSUDH's Student Development Office conducted a workshop on applying to graduate school. CSUDH also established a career and graduate study resource center in the Psychology Peer Advising Center.
In April 1999, more than 60 high school students attended Prince George's Community College's conference on "Science, Technology, and Research Training."
The Chicago State University project supported a visit of seventh and eighth grade children to the biology and psychology departments that included hands-on activities and lunch.
At the University of South Dakota, project students have collaborated with Native American students at the local high school and written and published two issues of a newsletter that discusses how psychology affects Native American high school students on a daily basis. The newsletter, Psych on the Rise, is distributed throughout South Dakota to all tribal schools and colleges and to other middle and high schools that have significant Native American populations.
At Santa Monica College, students participated in site visits to community research and clinical treatment settings that are addressing research or service delivery issues of ethnic minority populations.
At the University of Miami, the number of honors theses completed by undergraduates has increased from an average of one per year to nine in 1998-1999. All student authors participated in the PRIME preparatory course. Three also completed the PRIME summer program, and five were ethnic minorities. Of the seven graduating students of the UCLA Scholars Program, three have been admitted to graduate programs in clinical, cognitive, or developmental psychology.