Lab Supports Multi-ethnic Science Careers

LANL’s Community Connections for November is out. Below is an article found in this month’s edition:

Lab supports multi-ethnic science careers

  • Pilot program prepares regional students for national conference

Each year the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) holds an annual conference for several thousand students and professionals from across the country. Figuring out which sessions to attend from a 140-page program might be daunting for anyone but particularly if you’re still in college and have never attended such an event before. A pilot program held this year in conjunction with the Lab and Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) helped students prep for the national conference.

The Lab’s Gabriel Montano (with the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies) and Ulises Ricoy (the college’s Biology Department chair) with NNMC, put the one-day session together to help the 15 participants figure out which sessions would be of the most benefit, how to network at the national event and provided them a chance to improve their presentation skills.

“One of the things the students did was put together their own agenda of things to attend during the conference and even looked up information on various speakers to see where their interests overlapped,” Montano said. “They also had a chance to learn how to introduce themselves into new groups since that isn’t something that everyone feels comfortable doing.”

While SACNAS’ mission is to foster “the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers and positions of leadership in science,” it is also  all inclusive and welcomes all who wish to develop their science and leadership skills.

Initial results indicate that the preparatory session helped the students give better presentations, better plan their agenda and make valuable connections within the group itself as well as at the conference—with two of the students, Kirstie Swingle and Leorrie Attencio (both of the whom are Lab student interns) receiving awards for poster presentations at the national conference.

Visit the national Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science for more information on what it does.