The Leadership Alliance is requesting support for a satellite meeting (symposium) to be held each year for five years in conjunction with the annual meeting of a major scientific professional group. The Leadership Alliance, administered from Brown University, consists of a group of thirteen East coast research and teaching universities and ten historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) working together to """"""""improve the environment for underrepresented students and faculty at various states of the educational pipeline."""""""" The Alliance was founded in 1992 and is based on an """"""""undergraduate-to-graduate program model"""""""" with a primary focus on """"""""the concept of effective mentoring."""""""" The Alliance engages in a complex set of initiatives directed at underrepresented minority students that include mentorship programs, summer research programs, graduate student opportunity programs, international research programs, symposia for students and faculty, development of a mentoring program by members of the National Academy of Sciences, and the maintenance of site on the World Wide Web. Financial support for various aspects of Alliance programs has been provided by private foundations and businesses, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the participating colleges and universities.
The specific aims of the proposal are to: (1) bring young minority scientists together to develop a sense of scientific community, (2) build-long-term scientific relationships, (3) allow students to gain experience in public communication and critique of scientific data, (4) extend mentoring relationships with professional scientific societies, (5) expose students to various financial, professional and employment opportunities, and (6) enable students and faculty to use the Hunter College Web site for mentoring and networking. The program requests support for the participation of 150 Alliance undergraduates and faculty to attend an Alliance satelitte meeting held in conjunction with the annual meetings of three scientific societies: the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) in 1997, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) in 1998, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in 1999, Experimental Biology in 2000, and the National Research Academy Institute of Medicine in 2001. Each satellite meeting will take place immediately before the professional meeting and will last for two days. Other than a welcoming address and buffet on the first day, formal activities are confined to the second day of the satellite meeting. The second day of the meeting will consist of a series of lectures, several poster sessions, a science reporting forum, and a graduate workshop and recruitment session. Student participants in the satellite meetings will be Alliance summer interns and other minority undergraduates and graduates in the biomedical sciences. To motivate students to participate in the poster sessions cash awards will be given to three undergraduate students and to three graduate students who are judged to have prepared the best poster presentations. Each student will be assigned to a faculty mentor, and each mentor will be paired with one or two students. Eight undergraduate students, selected on the basis of a writing competition prior to the satellite meeting, will participate in a science writers workshop, and each student participant will receive an award of a laptop computer. The science writers will be supervised by three science reporting forum coordinators and will be required to prepare a """"""""news summary"""""""" that will be circulated to all participants, distributed to selected news bureaus, magazines, and newspapers, and placed on the Hunter College Web page. A comprehensive student assessment will be an integral component of the Alliance symposia. To ensure a high rate of response, all student participants will be asked to complete a student program evaluation at the end of their final workshops.