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Contact: Tim Woodhull

September 12, 2000


California State University, Dominguez Hills, program aimed at increasing minority representation in scientific research awarded three-year grant

A program at California State University, Dominguez Hills designed to provide invaluable laboratory experience for community college students has been awarded a three-year grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Beginning September 30, NIH will contribute $648,985 to "Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree at CSUDH," which is aimed at increasing the number of minority students involved in scientific laboratory research.

The program recruits students from Compton and El Camino Community colleges to work at Harbor-UCLA Research and Education Institute (REI), then transfer to CSUDH to continue their education. This year, the grant will pay for up to 16 students.

Bridges could make all the difference in the quality of their education experience. Without it, the students could well have been left wondering what might have been. With it, they will be exposed to a research experience that changes lives.

"What this does is provide students to acquire a perspective on career opportunities in science," said Tom Landefeld, associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Bridges principal investigator. "Maybe they hadn't considered science because they had never been exposed to it. Maybe they lacked a role model in the sciences. I look on Bridges as one avenue that can overcome those barriers."

Students who participate will be able to attend research seminars presented by CSUDH and REI faculty. Moreover, faculty mentors from the university and the institute, in addition to instructors from Compton College and El Camino Community College, will serve as mentors to the students.

And, students in Bridges will be able to attend CSUDH science courses and workshops, as well as national forums on a range of issues.

Another major component is a roster of guest lecturers planned for the 2000-2001 academic year. The range of speakers is aimed to introduce the sciences to students who might have dismissed a career in science because it is a field where persons of color are under-represented.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Tom Landefeld, associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences, and Bridges principal investigator, at (310) 243-3389.