The program was recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine and received the Inspiring Programs in STEM Award.
Texas Tech University's Plains Bridges to the Baccalaureate (PBB) Program was named a recipient of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine's 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. The award is presented to people and programs that encourage and inspire a new generation of young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
"We are honored to receive this award as it reaffirms that what we are doing is important and having an impact on diversity in STEM," said Jaclyn E. Cañas-Carrell, PBB program director and a professor of analytical toxicology and environmental chemistry. "We look forward to continuing to work with underrepresented students from South Plains College to continue to diversify STEM."
The PBB program is funded by a $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences within the National Institutes of Health. The program, which is run through Texas Tech's Department of Environmental Toxicology in the College of Arts & Sciences, was established in 2008 as a partnership between the university and South Plains College. The ultimate goal of the program is to increase diversity in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The program primarily supports the retention of underrepresented students at local community colleges and through their transition to Texas Tech or another four-year university.
"We are excited to have had this program receive the INSIGHT into Diversity Inspiring Programs in STEM Award," said Carol A. Sumner, vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and chief diversity officer. "The faculty who lead this program have dedicated their lives to their scholarship while simultaneously giving back to children and youth. While they continue to contribute to their scholarship, their proverbial hands remain outstretched to underrepresented and minority students to show them they belong not only in careers in STEM, but moreover, as members of the Texas Tech University community. It is the epitome of scholarship through service. We are extremely proud to know they have been recognized with this award."
PBB offers workshops and opportunities focused on three components: providing the tools to become a successful scientist, providing the tools to succeed in higher education and increasing awareness of the need for diversity in these sciences.
Of the 118 program participants so far, Cañas-Carrell said 93% have transferred to Texas Tech. In addition, 40 students earned bachelor of art or bachelor of science STEM degrees, eight students earned master of science degrees, five students are pursuing master of science degrees, one student earned a doctoral degree, one student earned a medical degree, two students earned a doctorate of pharmacy and nine students are pursuing doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences.