In 2016, Georgetown University published a study showing mass underrepresentation of black students in lucrative STEM majors, but the best solution offered was “careful career planning.”
At UNC-Chapel Hill, professor Javed Mostafa has a plan.
Mostafa’s program is looking to increase the mere 10 percent of black degree-seekers who choose health fields by recruiting students at North Carolina HBCUs for a seven-week STEM boot camp.
In August, an extension of the Carolina Health Informatics Program received funding from the United Health Foundation to begin Extensible Network-Accessible Biomedical & Health Informatics Lifelong learning Environment, or ENABLE. The program will kick off its first summer boot camp on May 17, and applications are open until March 31.
The program aims to diversify the field of health and biomedical informatics by recruiting from North Carolina black universities, such as North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Bennett College. Professor Javed Mostafa, the program director, wants to expose undergraduate students to the STEM field through the summer residential experience at UNC-CH. His position in the professional community showed him the need for diversity in a racially and socioeconomically monogamous field, dominated by 71 percent white degree-holders.