The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) is an NSF-funded initiative designed to increase the number of under-represented minorities (URM) in the STEM workforce. IU South Bend began participating in this program for the first time this spring with college students visiting local high school classes to speak about their academic experiences and hopefully attract potential future students. This summer then saw two students engage in research: biology major Keon Jones (left) working with chemistry professor Grace Muna to coat electrodes with nanoparticles to improve electrochemical detection of lead in water and soil; and physics student E-Lexus Thornton (right) researching nuclear reactions with physics professor Jerry Hinnefeld.
Visitation of high schools is planned to continue this fall. Additionally the university will recruit advanced URM students to provide peer-mentoring and tutoring to beginning URM in STEM disciplines. As the university begins the search for next summer's LSAMP research scholars, both Thornton and Jones plan to present this summer's research results at the Louis Stokes Midwest Center for Excellence annual conference in Indianapolis.