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For the third year in a row, Diola Bagayoko, dean of the  Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes Honors College at Southern University, Baton Rouge (SUBR) and distinguished professor of physics, has received a grant of more than $250,000 from the National Science Foundation, through the Louisiana Board of Regents.

These funds are for the operation of the statewide office of the Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-LAMP) at the lead institution, SUBR, and for scholarships and the mentoring of qualified SUBR minority students majoring in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline.

In addition to the provision of financial support, LS-LAMP immerses the selected STEM majors in the Ten-Strand Systemic Mentoring environment of the Timbuktu Academy.

As per student retention research, these ten strands ensure the academic, social, and professional integration of the participant students, not just to ensure their academic success, but also their postgraduate growth in graduate school and in their careers. Participant students enhance their communication skills, conduct research, attend and present at conferences, while immersed in a professional culture. A majority of these students, upon graduation, successfully attend graduate school,

The above benefits accrue to LS-LAMP scholars on the campuses of the other partner institutions in Louisiana. This process is facilitated by the adoption of the Ten-Strand Systemic Mentoring Model by the entire Alliance.

With the coordination by SUBR, the other partner institutions receive funding from NSF for scholarships and the mentoring of qualified minority students majoring in a STEM discipline.

The Alliance partners are Dillard University, Grambling State University, Louisiana State University, McNeese State University, Southern University in Baton Rouge, Southern University at New Orleans, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and Xavier University, Nunez Community College and Southern University at Shreveport. A research partner in the Alliance is the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON).

In the May 2017 photo (L-R) Diola Bagayoko, Southern University distinguished professor of physics and dean of the Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes Honors College poses with honors students set to travel to Belize. Six of them are scholars of the Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes Honors College. They include (L-R) Justin Gay, junior, electrical engineering major; Jonalyn Fair, sophomore, mathematics;  physics major, Rayda Lathon, sophomore, mechanical engineering major; and Mr. Eric Pugh, SUBR mentor faculty.

Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes was the first woman to lead a university system in the United States.

The Belize Study Abroad program is coordinated through the SUBR Center for International Affairs. Sponsors include the Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes Honors College, the College of Sciences and Engineering, and the Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-LAMP).

“Global exposure and related experiential learning are salient components of the holistic educational experience of our future leaders,” said Prof. Diola Bagayoko.


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