Society For Science & The Public Announces 31 New Mentors Of The Advocate Grant Program

June 1, 2016 – The Society for Science & the Public announces its 2016-2017 Advocate Grant Program recipients. Thirty-one Advocates will receive a stipend of $3,000 to guide 3-5 underrepresented students in conducting a scientific or engineering research project and completing applications for scientific competitions. The Society received 240 applications from 45 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

The Advocates for the 2016-2017 year include:

Lauren Allgood, in Nashville, Tennessee
Oluwatoyin Asojo, in Houston, Texas
Scott Bolen, in Conyers, Georgia
Dolores Caffey-Fleming, in Los Angeles, California
Carrie Cao, in San Francisco, California
Charlene Chan, in Queens, New York
Sarah Connelly, in Saint Paul, Minnesota
Deanna Cusick, in Aurora, Colorado
Alexa Dantzler, in Atlanta, Georgia
Sakinah Ellickson, in Iowa City, Iowa
Antonio Gamboa, in Pomona, California
Shari Harrison, in Indianapolis, Indiana
Bonnie Lasorsa, in Wareham, Massachusetts
Priscilla Lumbreras, in La Joya, Texas
Sheila Marquez, in Tucson, Arizona
Douglas Masterson, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Patricia Monteith, in Boston, Massachusetts
Lynne Muhammad, in Chicago, Illinois
Kelly Norton Pipes, in Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Jennifer O’Connor, in Ethete, Wyoming
Deanna Pick, in Fort Pierce, Florida
Andrew Pineda, in Whiteriver, Arizona
Elizabeth Proctor, in Monticello, Georgia
Anne Rammelsberg, in Decatur, Illinois
Lisa Ranney, in Lafayette, Louisiana
Cheri Reznicek, in Maryville, Tennessee
Karl Sandeman, in Brooklyn, New York
Thomas Schmedake, in Charlotte, North Carolina
Russ Stukel, in Denton, Texas
Laura Tenorio, in Taos, New Mexico
Freda Vine, in Las Vegas, Nevada

The Advocate Grant Program is designed to provide support to underrepresented and underserved students across the U.S. who have conducted scientific or engineering research projects, and encourage them to submit their research to a scientific research competition. These competitions may include, but are not limited to, the Society’s three programs: the Science Talent Search, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), or Broadcom MASTERS. This Program aims to increase outreach to underserved communities and diversity within science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions. The Program provides Advocates with a cohort to share ideas and direct access to the experienced staff at the Society, who are also knowledgeable about the Society’s competitions and other national competitions.

“The Society is thrilled that our Advocate Grant Program is growing and will reach so many more students this year,” said Maya Ajmera, CEO of the Society for Science & the Public. “I think Mark Vondracek, one of our 2015-2016 Advocates said it best when he told us that ‘in science research, as in any field of study, diversity in thought, experience, and background is vital when trying to solve the most complex problems.’ Bringing that diversity to the next generation of science leaders is what the Advocate Grants are all about.”

Engaging underrepresented students and diversifying the pool of participants in STEM competitions leads to more career scientists from low-income populations. When students complete the application process to enter a science competition, it instills confidence in their scientific abilities, provides experience writing a research paper and offers a stage to present their work to peers, scientists and the public.

The Advocate Grant is sponsored by the Alcoa Foundation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Society for Science & the Public.