Professor of biology Thomas Landefeld presented, “Careers in the Sciences for Minority Students: How to Make the Right Choice and Then How to Be a Competitive Applicant” to students at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University, Bennett College for Women, and Albany State University in Georgia last month. The students are members of National Institute of General Medical Sciences Minority Opportunities in Research (NIGMS MORE) programs.
Landefeld notes that students in the South face similar health disparities in the medical field as the rest of the nation. However, these are more severe due to fewer educational opportunities and lower income levels.
“Overall, the health disparities are seen at a medical level, e.g. diabetes, infant mortality, uterine fibroids, prostate cancer,” he says. “The sociological perspective [reveals] lower socioeconomics, lack of health care access, demographical and community perspectives, lack of quality foods, lack of exercise facilities and certainly, cultural considerations within ethnic groups.”
Landefeld says that programs like Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) and the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) help students focus on their goals.
“These programs serve a number of purposes, probably the most important of which is exposure to research, which strengthens a student’s ability to think critically and analytically, which helps whether they choose to go further,” he says. “The programs also expose the students to information about career choices, including what it takes to be successful, in a way that they would not usually get during their normal undergraduate studies.”
Landefeld also presented “Sex Hormones: From the Barnyard to the Laboratory to the Clinic” at Albany State. He also conducted a webinar for the Principal Investigators Association last December on mentoring across academia for researchers, teachers, advisors, and other professionals. Landefeld recently visited Texas Southern University where he collaborated with faculty on the submission of research-based and student development grants.
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