Three undergraduate students helping pave the way for greater diversity in the sciences have been chosen as the first recipients of Connecticut Sea Grant’s new summer undergraduate research fellowships for underrepresented and underserved students in marine and coastal scientific research.
UConn students Andrew Tienken and Larissa Tabb and Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) student James Hannon each will receive a $5,000 stipend to conduct summer research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
“We are pleased to support more students in their pursuit of a career in the sciences and look forward to learning about the outcomes of their individual projects,” said Nancy Balcom, associate director of CT Sea Grant.
The program is designed to provide early career experience, training and mentorship to underrepresented minorities and socioeconomically disadvantaged students as well as students of color, indigenous students, members of the LGBTQ community and students with disabilities.
“This fellowship is the result of several years of visioning efforts that I was involved in within the National Sea Grant program which focused on enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Syma Ebbin, who led the creation of the program as CT Sea Grant’s research coordinator “Funding was made available from the National Sea Grant program for state programs to push this visioning agenda forward. The motivating idea is that in order to have greater diversity in marine and coastal sciences, more efforts are needed to engage and mentor students earlier on in their academic careers. This effort is being made to prime the pipeline, so to speak, so in the future there will be a greater diversity of highly trained individuals working in marine research.“
Tienken, Hannon and Tabb, who are all rising juniors majoring in environmental science, biology and marine science, respectively, said they are grateful for the support Connecticut Sea Grant is providing to help increase diversity in their fields of interest.