The Stony Brook AGEP Program has become an important presence on campus since its inception in 1999. Major accomplishments at a glance include:
Enhanced academic and social preparedness of participating students: offering summer research experiences through the AGEP Summer Research Institute (SRI), to orient and prepare students to the skills, research experience, motivation, and social expectations necessary for entry into and success in graduate school. We have tracked all 103 SRI interns to date (from 2000-2008) and an impressive yield of 45% of our SRI interns are currently in graduate school with or in the process of applying.
Changes in campus and departmental culture: establishing a presence so that the academic communities will recognize the presence, contributions; and needs of minority students. AGEP is creating a new awareness on the special academic and social concerns of graduate students from underrepresented groups, especially in STEM disciplines.
Effectively working with departments on recruitment and retention: sharing information when problems occur with AGEP students; inclusion of AGEP in departmental funding efforts; leading the way in taking faculty and students to important conferences at which students can make presentations and faculty can recruit good minority students; using AGEP staff as a resource about a range of recruitment and retention issues; positive changes in recruitment and retention practices because of AGEP; providing critical support services in terms of tutoring, mentoring, and advising.
A community of underrepresented minority students: We have established a vibrant and active community of minority graduate students that meet monthly, mentor each other, and share their experiences at conference and recruitment events, and emerge as leaders or teachers for undergraduate activities on campus.
Extended collaboration with related programs: AGEP works closely with other programs such as NSF LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) and Bridges to the Doctorate Program, NIH-MARC, Stony Brook URECA (Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activities), CSTEP and so forth on activities such as GRE preparation workshops, graduate school application workshops, and shared research presentations.
Building new links with other institutions: AGEP has been working with departments to develop relationships with institutions that have a historically UREP student body, encouraging faculty at our institutions to tap into their network of colleagues for good students. Over the past few years, a strong relationship was forged with University of Maryland Baltimore County, Long Island University (Brooklyn), CUNY Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn College, Savannah State University and more recently with San Francisco State University. We have also established contacts with universities, government laboratories and industries nationwide that may provide internships and career placement for our graduates.
Increase in degree production: SUNY AGEP has shown a substantial increase in doctoral degree production from 6 degrees in 1999 to 17 degrees in 2008, an increase that represents almost triple the baseline. The average number of degrees from the four years prior to AGEP was 4 Ph.D.s per year (1998-2001); this has now increased to an average of 11 Ph.D.s per year (2002-2008).
Formation of the Center for Inclusive Education (CIE): The Center for Inclusive Education was opened on the Stony Brook campus on May 3, 2002. The Center provides a place for minority programs, both on the campus and across the state, to meet and coordinate efforts. The Center is projected to grow to become a national force in the collection of ideas, information, and resources related to access, inclusion, and academic excellence in the science fields. CIE activities have included: The Access to Success Symposium featuring keynote speaker Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. We have also instituted a comprehensive conference of our own, A Gathering of Science Scholars, where minority undergraduates and graduate students can gain information and motivation about graduate programs and academic careers. To date, there have been three installments of the Gathering Conference (2004, 2005 and 2006), featuring nationally recognized speakers, skill-building workshops, a poster competition, and a career fair.