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Minority Education & Career Exposure Affinity Group Leads Workshop

AAAS S&T Policy Fellows and MECE members from left to right: Robin S. Broughton, Chi Onyewu, both 2010-12 at NIH; Anthony Belvin, 2010-12 at DOE; Reeshemah Burrell, 2011-12 at NSF; and Marcelo D. Vinces, 2010-12 at NSF at the 2012 ERN Conference in STEM.

The S&T Policy Fellowships affinity groups provide opportunities for current and alumni Fellows to organize around science and policy issues, to share ideas and resources, and seek and develop collaborative efforts and programs.

The Minority Education & Career Exposure (MECE) Affinity Group focuses on enhancing the exposure and impact of underrepresented minorities in science along the education continuum. To support these goals, the group participated in the February 2012 Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM in Atlanta, GA, sponsored by the AAAS Education and Human Resources Programs and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Human Resource Development (HRD). The annual conference is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students participating in programs funded by the NSF HRD Unit, including underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities. In addition to helping students enhance their science communication skills through oral and poster presentations, a key component of the ERN conference is to provide students with career development strategies through focused workshop sessions.

Robin S. Broughton and Chi Onyewu, 2010-2012 AAAS S&T Policy Fellows and MECE co-chairs, sponsored a workshop for graduate students titled The Power of Proactivity. In accord with MECE goals, the workshop supported and encouraged STEM students by sharing messages and lessons learned that can contribute to their academic and career success. They discussed the current state of the job market for academic scientists, additional science career path options, and the need to be proactive in all aspects of life. The discussions provided resources for the students and helped inform future efforts of MECE programming. In addition to the workshop, MECE members served as conference poster judges and mentors to the aspiring young scientists.

Article written by Robin S. Broughton and Chi Onyewu, 2010-2012 AAAS S&T Policy Fellows.