A group of five UC Davis’ undergraduate students from the Special Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP) toured the Silva research group laboratory last week. STEP is a summer bridge program for underrepresented-minority first-generation students from low-income families. It also ensures a two-year follow-up with this population, which is more vulnerable to poor academic performance and dropout.
Eduardo Silva, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, explains his engagement and goals with STEP: “Because lack of a sense of belonging is one of the identified reasons for poor retention among underrepresented communities, I decided to engage with STEP program in order to expose the students to hands on cutting-edge research with the ultimate aim of increasing retention. Having been a first generation student myself, I recognize the importance of close mentorship and the need for a sense of belonging. Hopefully some of these STEP students will get excited with BME research and will ultimately join a lab for research experience during their undergraduate studies.”