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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is hosting the national conference for the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation on Nov. 4-5.

In 2002, UT Knoxville and five other Tennessee universities formed the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP) with the goal of increasing the enrollment and graduation rate of underrepresented ethnic minority students (Hispanic, African-American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Pacific Islander) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by at least 100 percent at the end of the five-year period. The objectives to support the goal of the alliance are to:

• recruit underrepresented students to pursue science or engineering as a career;

• improve the quality of the learning environment for underrepresented science and engineering students at all schools; and

• ensure that a larger number of undergraduate students are prepared to enter graduate programs.

UT Knoxville is making great strides in this goal and it continues to raise the bar.

• Through TLSAMP, the College of Engineering offers the Freshman Engineering Summer Bridge Program, allowing incoming UT minority freshman engineering students an opportunity to spend two weeks on campus prior to the start of their first semester.

• It has also established a TLSAMP mentoring program where participating students spend at least two hours per week working with a faculty member as a research assistant.

The keynote speaker at this event is LSAMP Director A.J. Hicks who has received countless honors and awards for his achievements in science and for his efforts in promoting the advancement of underrepresented groups in science, engineering and mathematics.

To learn more about TLSAMP, visit http://www.engr.utk.edu/tlsamp/.