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Educational Outreach Highlight

CCP participant Girma Endale at MIT researching polyelectrolyte multilayers for sequential multi-drug delivery (top) and delivering the valedictory address at the 2008 Roxbury Community College graduation ceremony (bottom).

Community College Program at MIT MRSEC prepares students for science careers

In 2005, the CMSE launched a Research Experience for Undergraduates program that targets local community college students. Now that the Community College Program (CCP) is several years old, CMSE is seeing it yield results. Students report that they leave the program with new skills, a broader understanding of science and engineering careers, and increased confidence in their ability to succeed in a science or engineering field. Of the participants who have completed their study at community college, at least 79% have enrolled in bachelor’s programs.

Two examples of students who credit the CCP with their success are Kathleen Tompkins and Girma Endale. Ms. Tompkins participated in 2008. She is now an intern at the National Cancer Institute and writes, “Thanks to the MIT program for helping a community college student succeed in ways she never thought she might.” Mr. Endale participated in the CCP in 2006, then returned in 2008. He now attends Boston University, where he is studying biochemistry and molecular biology. In the valedictory address at his community college graduation, Mr. Endale described the impact of his research experience at CMSE: “That internship not only helped me to gain experience, knowledge and motivation, but also became a turning point in my life.”

This program is funded by the NSF MRSEC Program.

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