The Brooklyn College RISE program is designed to broaden the opportunities of students from under- represented groups through the integration of developmental activities and opportunities for research experiences to increase the knowledge, skills and motivation of students moving from undergraduate status into graduate programs in biomedical and behavioral research fields. The RISE program has achieved the evaluated goals of increasing knowledge and skills through provision of academic supports, improvements in the quality and impact of teaching in college science classrooms, developmental workshops that teach about the steps needed to enter graduate programs, and ample opportunities during the academic year and summers to be involved in research, including training in research methods and participation in faculty- mentored research experiences. In the next cycle, the RISE program will continue all these successful components, expanding and institutionalizing supplemental instruction for more science classes, developing components for more freshman and sophomores to become directly involved in interesting group research projects to increase their interest and skills for more intensive research involvement as students progress through college. The program will work with the developers of a new curriculum to equip younger students for research to customize and test the course with our students. The RISE program will also continue to serve as a pilot program for pedagogical innovation, including approaches such as SCALE-UP and POGIL in basic science classes. Also continuing will be components that introduce students to important academic networks for summer externship programs (required by the program) and graduate school success by partnering with T- 32 level research institutions in New York City to give students regular access to what such institutions are like, how graduate students function within them and most importantly, how to make good use of individuals in such institutions who can help them reach their goals. Also in this new cycle, the program will be adding a significant and innovative component: to work more directly and in a more individualized manner with issues of URM students'motivation and motivational barriers to academic success for those with high potential to achieve entry to graduate school, using information from psychological assessments of relevant constructs. The method employs early, student-directed research on career options to link short-term activities with longer-term career and life goals. Working intensively with individual students, program staff will coach students to develop explicit sets of goals, subgoals, and related tasks each semester that will lead to successful careers. These "Formula for Success" documents will guide advisement and programming for individual students and for cohorts in the program. By directly addressing motivational issues, framed by sound psychological theory, we will improve student outcomes and program yields in the service of NIH MORE Division goals and increase the numbers of URM students and faculty in biomedical and behavioral research.
The development of more under-represented minority biomedical and behavioral scientists will have a beneficial impact on public health in the United States. The country has many pressing health problems that are particularly acute among minority communities. Progress toward resolving these issues will depend on developing the most talented and diverse scientific research workforce, one who will place a priority on helping diverse communities achieve positive outcomes.
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