Career Acceleration via Rigorous Educational Experiences in Research (CAREER)

For the last several years, the BioInspired Institute has been piloting our Career Acceleration via Rigorous Educational Experiences in Research (CAREER) program. These include two components:

We aim to address documented systemic problems of recruitment, retention, graduation, and placement for domestic Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o students at Syracuse University (SU, PWI) and our partners Hampton University (HU, MSI) and North Carolina A&T University (NCAT, MSI).

The project specifically seeks to break down documented policies/practices that prevent students from accessing and persisting in STEM undergraduate and graduate programs. Barriers include lack of pre-college experiences in which students can form a STEM identity and lack of campus-based supports available to students through their undergraduate and graduate-level education. In addition to breaking done these barriers, we aim to forge lasting, equitable scholarly, educational, and administrative relationships between the MSIs and PWI.

Activities to Date

Pre-College Program

In the summers of 2021-2023, we have run a virtual Pre-College program for ~55 incoming first-year undergraduate students at SU, NCAT, and HU with a declared interest in STEM. The goals of the program are to position students to compete for future research positions or jobs, bring awareness of graduate and career pathways, and to build study skills for the first year of college.

A Zoom meeting with students watching a presentation.
Dr. Jerald Dumas gives a presentation to CAREER Pre-College attendees about careers in STEM.

Post First Year Research Experience

In 2022 and 2023, we piloted a 4-week research experience for six former Pre-College participants. Each week of the program, the students rotate as a cohort through laboratories of select BioInspired faculty to participate in a structured research experience, supported with  professional development programming.

Five people pose for a photo outside glass doors that lead to a research lab
Participants in the CAREER Post First Year Research Experience worked with Professor Mary Beth Monroe (center) in the Institute’s Materials Research Core facility.