Thomas Nelson Student Among Virginia, North Carolina Winners at STEM Symposium | Thomas Nelson Community College

Thomas Nelson Student Among Virginia, North Carolina Winners at STEM Symposium

October 31, 2018

Thomas Nelson Community College’s Monica Gurung, an engineering major, was among students who won poster and oral competitions during the 11th Annual Virginia-North Carolina Alliance for Minority Participation Symposium (LSAMP).

Gurung was one of nearly 40 students who presented their research findings during the Oct. 15 symposium in Blacksburg, Virginia. See Gurung’s thoughts on the experience in a Virginia Tech feature story by clicking HERE.

The Virginia-North Carolina Alliance is part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Funded by the National Science Foundation, it aims to diversify the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics workforce by increasing the number of underrepresented minority students earning higher education degrees. 

Thomas Nelson is among participating schools allowing Gurung and 14 other Thomas Nelson students to take advantage of opportunities such as the Oct. 15 symposium. Physics Professor Elena Kuchina, who with assistance from Associate Professor Tonya Darnell, facilitates the program at Thomas Nelson. Kuchina said nearly 700 Thomas Nelson students qualify to participate in LSAMP and efforts to increase participation and while creating wider opportunities for current participants are ongoing.

Now in second year at Thomas Nelson, LSAMP has held workshops in coordination with Workforce Development, hosted a field trip to the Smithsonian and presented a speakers’ series featuring STEM professionals, who give students insight about the various possibilities a STEM education affords.  

Darnell said by exposing students to STEM and encouraging them to pursue STEM degrees, LSAMP aims to create a pipeline of minority students who enter STEM fields.