Seven Florida A&M students headed to San Jose, Calif., Tuesday to compete in the largest professional biomedical research conference for minority students.
The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students is designed to encourage underrepresented minority students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Education, Mathematics) field to pursue advanced training in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and provide faculty mentors and advisers with resources for facilitating students’ success.
“A conference of this nature helps to develop students’ networking skills and encourage academic growth outside of the classroom,” said Staci Brown, a physics graduate and Ph.D. candidate. “This conference also facilitates an opportunity for students to meet recruiters for future academic and professional endeavors in person.”
An array of recruiters and professionals assisted in developing students’ biomedical research skills and enhancing their professional development skills.
“The myriad amounts of opportunities at the conference are free to take if an individual comes prepared to socialize, interact and explore,” said Zachary Walker, a graduating biology student.
“I am elated to have the chance to showcase my talents to numerous administrators and advocate the talent and expertise at Florida A&M University.”
The ABRCMS is an opportunity to build a network. It gives students an opportunity to gain insight into what different programs are looking at when they select students for summer internships and graduate programs.
“This experience will help students decide what graduate university and programs they would like to attend in order to complete the next step in their education,” said Shanalee Gallimore, a molecular biology graduate. “Often times, as students, we would not get the opportunity to speak one-on-one with the presidents of institutions, physicians such as Dr. Ben Carson and various researchers who are doing groundbreaking research. This national conference gives us that type of opportunity and more.”
Students had a chance to explore different areas of science and gain information, which will help them see what type of contributions they are able to make to STEM in the future.
The future of STEM has been given light and has been shining brighter since the Florida-Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation has been involved with the program. Along with providing mentorship to undergraduate students, FGLSAMP also funds trips for students to attend conferences.
As the seven students embarked on a journey across the nation to present their research, they were in the process of finalizing their speeches and mentally conditioning themselves for the competition. Although there is only one “first place” winner, each individual is representing the university as a whole and positioning themselves among some of the best and brightest scholars in the nation.
To follow the group’s progress, visit ABRCMS on Twitter or their website www.abrcms.org.