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First S-STEM Scholars Arrive on Campus

Published on June 27, 2012

Eleven students selected as the first participants in Susquehanna University’s BroadeningS-STEM Scholars Intensive Opportunities for Scholarship (BIOS) program arrived on campus June 25 for a week of orientation before they begin their freshman year in August. Funded by an S-STEM (Scholarships-Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grant from the National Science Foundation, BIOS provides financial and programming support for academically qualified biology students who have been historically underrepresented in the sciences.

S-STEM programs such as BIOS reflect a national commitment to place American students among the world’s highest achievers in science and math over the next decade. At Susquehanna, the program will offer science scholarships, summer orientation, mentoring, advising, and opportunities for research and internships to select students who demonstrate aptitude and financial need. With 10 to 12 students chosen annually for three years, the BIOS group will comprise students of color, first-generation college students, those from geographic regions underrepresented at Susquehanna and others whose interest in biology could be fueled with strategic support.

The inaugural group of students has come to Susquehanna from diverse hometowns ranging from central Pennsylvania to Philadelphia and the Bronx. During their orientation week, they will have dinner with biology faculty at the home of University President L. Jay Lemons, engage in lab and field work, discuss careers, kayak and canoe on the Susquehanna River, and accompany faculty and staff on a day trip to the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C.

“The goal is to introduce students to the other members in their BIOS cohort, and to the variety of research projects in the biology department at Susquehanna,” said Thomas Peeler, associate professor of biology and principal investigator for the NSF grant. “We also want to establish the idea, from the beginning of their college experience, that science is not a static set of facts, but an ongoing process of discovery.”

"This is a time for S-STEM scholars to get to know one another and begin lifelong friendships,” said Lisa Scott, special assistant to the president and chief diversity officer. “We intend for them to take away a great deal of excitement and possibility about their futures."


Karen M. Jones

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