(Courtesy photo/Howard University News)

The Howard University Bison STEM Scholars Program welcomes its third group of incoming freshmen for a multi-year program that provides the high-achievers full undergraduate scholarships in exchange for their commitment to pursue graduate and professional studies in STEM-related disciplines.

The 29 students, which include 15 females and 14 males, represent 12 states and were selected through a competitive national application process with strict eligibility requirements. The students, all of whom have an average SAT score of 1384 and an average ACT score of 30, have committed to pursuing a Ph.D., or a combined MD/Ph.D.

“The Bison STEM Scholars Program is designed for focused students who from Day One have committed to going the distance to pursue their terminal degrees. This program will help them achieve those goals and stay on target by grouping them alongside like-minded individuals so iron can sharpen iron,” said Howard University President Wayne Frederick

Dr. Frederick and Provost and Chief Academic Officer Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., initiated development of BSSP nearly three years ago to address the lack of minorities earning terminal STEM degrees, and eventually becoming researchers and higher education faculty. With the addition of Cohort 3, the program now enrolls 87 of the University’s most talented students.

“These students represent the diversity that is necessary to address some of the most critical scientific and societal challenges of our times.  They are among the brightest and most gifted students in the country, and we look forward to the great things that they will accomplish as scientists, researchers, and research-based clinicians.” Wutoh said

For a rigorous six weeks of academic development and refining, the scholars are enrolled in calculus and Afro-American studies, both credit-bearing classes, alongside chemistry seminar, German seminar and a college success seminar.

They also explore careers in STEM disciplines to begin narrowing their educational and future career interests. For the second consecutive year, the incoming students will travel to Berlin, Germany as part of a three-year partnership with the Council on International Educational Exchange.

The two-week educational program abroad was created to increase diversity among students who have the advantage of traveling abroad and benefitting from social, cultural and academic exchange.

“For most of our scholars, the trip to Berlin, Germany will mark the first time that the have traveled out of the country,” BSSP Program Director Ronald Smith said. “There are many cultural, political and social differences between life in the United States and other countries.  However, we believe that the frequency with which we join with others from around the world to solve vexing global challenges will increase over time. The sooner that our scholars learn how to understand, tolerate and bridge those differences, the better prepared they will be to be STEM leaders on the global stage.”

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