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RFU Recognized for Inspiring Diversity in Health Care and STEM

A trio of RFU pipeline programs for aspiring healthcare and research professionals has been honored by INSIGHT Into Diversity as among the magazine’s 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM.

RFU officials were notified this summer about the honors for the university’s Science Saturdays, Camp Med and INSPIRE (Influence Student Potential and Increase Representation in Education) programs. The awards are set to be published in the September issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity, which is the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education.

Eric G. Williams, PhD, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, underscored the value that the programs provide for students in RFU’s surrounding community.

“INSPIRE exposes local high school students to medicine, healthcare and STEM related careers. Most of these students plan to return and practice in their local communities,” Dr. Williams said.

INSPIRE is an eight-week mentoring and applied research program that provides biomedical research demonstrations and mentoring to promising high school and college students. The long-term goal of INSPIRE is to increase the number of qualified students from underrepresented populations completing advanced degree health programs and serving the community as practicing health professionals.

Science Saturdays pairs local high school students with RFU graduate students who demonstrate core lab techniques and lessons in the scientific method and other key concepts. Camp Med — along with other summertime programs like Camp Cardiac, Camp Neuro and Camp Pod — welcome local college, high school and elementary school students to campus for hands-on explorations of medical careers.

Officials at INSIGHT Into Diversity described the publication’s mission as advancing diversity, promoting equality and building a stronger U.​S.​ workforce. The Inspiring Programs in STEM awards are a measure of programs and initiatives that “encourage and support the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented students into all STEM fields.”

“This award is being presented as a tribute to the people and programs that encourage and inspire a new generation of people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math,” INSIGHT officials said in a statement informing RFU of the honor. “Your award-winning program continues to make a significant difference through mentoring and teaching, research, and other efforts worthy of this national recognition. This year’s honorees truly are an inspiration to all of us who are working so diligently to make a difference in the lives of all individuals from underrepresented groups.”

Dr. Williams said everyone at RFU is “truly honored to be recognized for the outstanding work of the INSPIRE program staff, faculty and especially our deserving student participants.”

Posted August 11, 2022
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