The University of Southern Mississippi College of Science and Technology is hosting the annual Alliance for Graduate Education in Mississippi Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (AGEM - SREU) through July 31 on the Hattiesburg campus.
AGEM is a highly selective eight-week intensive program that matches promising minority undergraduate students with a leading Southern Miss faculty member for a summer of intensive research. Ten students from five different universities across the Southeast will perform graduate-level research in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“Our desire is to prepare these students to achieve the ultimate goal of being college professors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Andre Heath, site coordinator for AGEM.
The program comes at no expense to students, who are awarded a $3,500 stipend, free meals, housing and unlimited access to Cook Library and the Payne Center. Professional development workshops on graduate school admission, written and oral communication to boost Graduate Record Examination scores, teambuilding and professionalism are included.
Participants are challenged on a daily basis to keep up with their mentor’s pace. “Our plan is to make this as unlike a normal college semester as possible to let them see what the real world is like through the laboratory,” said Dr. Glen Shearer, professor of biological sciences.
“This is the first internship or research opportunity I’ve had,” said Clyde Sims Jr., a sophomore from Mississippi Valley State University. “I anticipate this summer will be a great learning experience for me and the other students.”
The College of Science and Technology has strived to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing careers in STEM disciplines for the past nine years. Currently, the National Science Foundation funds AGEM programs at four other universities in the state of Mississippi.
According to a study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, there was a 33.9 percent increase from 2001 to 2008 in the number of doctorates awarded to students graduating from institutions with programs designed to raise the number of underrepresented minorities in science-related studies.
“Very few underrepresented minorities pursue this goal, and our intent is to encourage them to do so in a research environment that is challenging yet supportive,” said Heath.
For more information on the AGEM Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates, contact Andre Heath at 601.266.6593.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.