Over 50 Boston-area science and engineering students from under-represented groups took part in a day-long symposium designed to encourage and inform undergraduate students about the possibilities of graduate school at the second annual Getting Ready for Advanced Degrees (GRAD) Lab on Sept. 29. The event focused on the professional benefits of obtaining a graduate degree in science or engineering.
The seminar was co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Consortium of STEM Programs and the regional GEM Consortium, which works to increase participation of Native Americans, African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans in graduate science and engineering programs. Boston University is one of seven member institutions in the regional consortium, which is part of the National GEM Consortium.
Held at the Photonics Center, the keynote address came from National GEM Consortium Executive Director Michelle Lezama, and attendees also heard from a distinguished panel of science and engineering academics, including AME Assistant Professor Tyrone Porter and the welcome address from Selim Ünlü, the College of Engineering’s Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs. Discussion topics during the day included “Why Graduate School?” “How to Prepare for Graduate School,” “Understanding the GEM Fellowship and Other Opportunities,” and “Voices from the Field – Real Life Research and Internship Experiences.”
“Graduate education has become imperative for those who seek careers in science and engineering,” Ünlü said. “A master’s or doctoral degree is especially important for those who aspire to be leaders in academia, industry or government. GEM’s mission is to make sure underrepresented students have every opportunity to achieve their educational and career goals.”
Throughout the day, students were able to network with numerous institutions throughout the country offering graduate programs in science and engineering, including BU, Harvard University, MIT, Princeton University, Michigan University and the University of California at Irvine. Students were able to visit with representatives of each institution and learn more about their specific graduate programs.