WCPO: UC hopes to increase diversity in STEM careers

The program pairs 20 undergraduates across colleges with mentors for summer research

WCPO highlighted an undergraduate research program that pairs 20 students with mentors in their chosen fields to conduct summer research.

Undergraduates Pursuing Research in Science and Engineering draws students from across UC's colleges to work with faculty on summer research projects for 12 weeks. The students are paid a stipdend and get firsthand experience working in labs or conducting fieldwork.

Some of the students are racial minorities or first-generation or nontraditional college students or have other backgrounds that are underrepresented in some STEM fields.

“There have been a number of studies that have shown that diversity can lead to more creativity,” program director Heather Norton told WCPO. “Who is in those scientific seats of power, if you will, who gets to ask the questions and seek funding can really shape the pace and flavor of scientific development.”

UC College of Arts and Sciences student Chase Dietz and Mary Wilkens, a student in UC's College of Allied Health Sciences, spoke to WCPO about their summer research experience.

“When I got in I was like this is my chance to grow, this is my chance to prove I can do it, this is my chance to figure out what I like," Wilkens told WCPO. "It was an opportunity to try everything new all at once without the fear of falling."

Applications for 2023 are accepted in February.

Watch the WCPO report.

Featured image at top: UC double major Chase Dietz works in a chemistry lab. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

UPRISE Speech and Hearing Sciences student Mary Wilkins works in Dr. Victoria McKenna’s lab.

UC College of Allied Health Sciences student Mary Wilkens worked on a summer research project. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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