The UNT Health Science Center (UNTHSC) has received prestigious recognition for its longstanding history of programs aimed at increasing diversity within the scientific community. These awards include the Award for Excellence in Minority Recruitment from the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals, designation as an NIH-Minority Access Role Model Institution, and the President’s Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering from the National Science Foundation.
The Center for Diversity and International Relations administers programs whose principal goal is to increase the numbers of under-represented, disadvantaged, or first-generation college students entering the health professions and the biomedical sciences
Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, Ph.D., Vice President, Center for Diversity & International Programs
Harlan Jones, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Diversity and International Relations
K-12 Outreach Programs
North Side High School Preceptorship
UNTHSC has worked with the student and faculty from the Health Professions Magnet Program at North Side High school since 1982. Each year students from the junior and senior class of this school attend our clinics and laboratories for research preceptorships. These experiences have been highly successful for both students and faculty. Additionally, students will spend up to twelve weeks in the laboratory, lengthened from the original six week program. Faculty assign them to either observe patient care procedures in our clinic or to participate in various aspects of research in our laboratories.
Adopt-A-School with Fort Worth Independent School District
UNTHSC has conducted an adopt-a-school partnership with the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) since 1982, and is a charter member of the program. Its partnership includes seven schools in two high school pyramids, and enlists the support of faculty, staff, and student organizations in its implementation. School partners include Manuel Jara Elementary, J.P. Elder Middle, and North Side High Schools in the North Side pyramid, and Maude I. Logan Elementary, Dunbar Sixth Grade, Dunbar Middle and Dunbar High School in the Dunbar pyramid. It offers a variety of programming, tutoring, mentoring, advising, preceptorships, and other activities to address low attendance rates, low academic achievement, low completion rates, and a need to improve cognitive development in science and leadership. Program activities are designed to expose students to the sciences and to ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills in science and leadership to enable them to enroll and succeed in post-secondary education.
Go Center Project with Fort Worth Independent School District
The GO Center Literacy Program at New Rising Star and Stop Six Community Center began in May 27, 2009. Activities offered include providing assistance with college applications, SAT/ACT preparation, writing tips, career exploration, college research, and financial aid/FAFSA presentations. Students also receive help with their homework and class work. UNTHSC has partnered with the Stop Six GO Center since 2008, collaborating on teen forums held at UNTHSC. In addition, the partnership collaborates on parent forums, as well as parent health focus groups.
UNTHSC also participates in the FWISD Super Saturday & College Financial Aid Help Sessions. These help sessions assist students with completing college applications, scholarship applications and essays. This event is a collaborative effort with FWISD, Boys & Girls Club-Educational Talent Search, City of Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Princeton Review, Tarleton State University, Tarrant County College, Tarrant County Community Go Centers, Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan, Texas Woman’s University, University of North Texas, UNTHSC, and the University of Texas at Arlington.
Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences (TABS)
This program is a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (T-STEM) early college high school collaboration between the UNTHSC, FWISD, and the University of North Texas (UNT). TABS is comprised of two groups of students and housed separately. Students take courses that will apply towards their high school diplomas as well as college degrees. The program provides transition into the college setting. The intent is to center the focus of TABS on biotechnology, biomedical sciences, and/or nanotechnology. The coursework challenges students to develop an understanding of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering in an environment modeling real world context for learning and work.
North Side High School Math and Science Tutoring Program
North Side High School is utilizing students from UNTHSC to tutor in Algebra l, Algebra ll, Geometry, Biology, and Chemistry classes to better serve limited English proficiency students as well as the special education population. Tutors work within the classroom aiding students in their independent work after whole class instruction is finished.
North Texas Life Science Research Symposium
Each year, GSBS hosts a research symposium to foster interest in scientific research and careers in science, building a pipeline of students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in science. High school students, undergraduate students, and master’s students from across the state are invited to present their research in poster sessions, competing for awards. Attendees tour the campus and participate in a presentation by a distinguished guest.
Program for Undergraduates
Summer Multicultural Advanced Research Training
The Summer Multicultural Advanced Research Training (SMART) Program brings undergraduate students to the UNTHSC campus to participate in a 10-week biomedical sciences project. Participants become familiar with the varied disciplines and methodology used in biomedical research.
SMART is a program for multicultural students made possible in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. The NIH has designated African Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Mainland Puerto Ricans as underrepresented populations in the sciences. However, through additional funding provided by our corporate partners, UNTHSC invites applications from all interested students.
Summer Research Internship
Participants will be awarded faculty-mentored summer research internships. These internships are full-time 10-week commitments. Interns will:
- work with faculty mentor whose research interests are related to their own;
- receive a stipend plus room and partial board and two semester credit hours upon successful completion;
- write a paper based on the intern’s research results, which will be submitted for presentation at a national meeting; and
- develop a computer-assisted oral presentation and a research poster to be presented at conclusion of the program and at a national conference.
Steps Toward Academic Research (STAR) Fellowship Program
The Texas Center for Health Disparities hosts the STAR Fellowship Program. The STAR program offers emerging faculty a full year of collaborative training and interaction with faculty from UNTHSC and other institutions directed toward fostering health disparities research initiatives.
Ten faculty members are selected to join the all-expense-paid STAR Fellowship Program each year while maintaining their regular faculty positions. The STAR Fellowship Program provides a unique approach that combines on-site faculty development and education with distance learning techniques that include video conferencing, on-line digital meetings, and “store and forward” technology in order to provide the skills necessary to STAR Fellows to enter into new health disparities research initiatives.
Successful completion of the STAR Fellows Program will offer each Fellow the opportunity to apply for pilot community-based health disparities research project grants.