LAFAYETTE WILL make its already strong biology program even more effective in preparing students to be leaders in science research and medicine with an $800,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The funding will enable the College to expand the number of real-world research experiences for students and increase the diversity of students who study science. It also will support faculty and curriculum development.
The College plans to found a summer research program for students after their first year, increase research programs for upper-level students, and provide more opportunities for students to cultivate their mentoring skills through community engagement. A key feature will be expanded opportunities for students to work closely with accomplished alumni.
Also, a new faculty and peer mentoring program will support students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, in persisting in undergraduate studies and research. Lafayette has found that participation in research correlates positively with persistence in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines.
The project director is Robert A. Kurt. An associate professor in the Department of Biology, Kurt was named the inaugural Peter C.S. d’Aubermont, M.D. ’73 Director of the College’s interdisciplinary health and life sciences program last year.