September 19, 2017  

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USM Professor Masterson Selected for Advocate Grant Program

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Oak Grove High seniors, from left to right: Clara Ellis, Jaren Jones, and Sumar Buti. (Submitted photo)

The Society for Science & the Public recently announced that ­­­­University of Southern Mississippi Professor Dr. Douglas Masterson has been accepted into the Society’s 2016-2017 Advocate Grant program. Masterson is one of 31 Advocates selected from 240 applications from 45 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Masterson, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs for The College of Science and Technology, is the coordinator for Project SEED, a mentoring program for high school students to conduct research in our laboratories, sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Masterson notes that three students will transition into the Advocate Grant program to convert their summer research into science fair projects, and other science competitions under his guidance. Those students include Oak Grove High School seniors Clara Ellis, Jaren Jones, and Sumar Buti.

The Society Advocate Grant empowers adult mentors to transition underserved middle and high school students from conducting scientific or engineering research to completing applications for science research competitions. These competitions may include, but are not limited to, the Society’s three programs: the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS.

The experience of entering competitions can boost students’ confidence in academics, enhance scientific and writing skills, and inspire the pursuit of post-secondary studies in a STEM field. In turn, this leads to more scientific careers from low-income and underrepresented populations.

Advocates receive a stipend of $3,000 to mentor a minimum of three-to-five students in their research endeavors and provide support throughout the process of applying to competitions. This support includes identifying appropriate research competitions, managing deadlines, gathering the information the application requires, and helping foster a supportive environment.

Additionally, Advocates receive training and ongoing support from the Society and communicate regularly with a cohort of program participants in their region.

For a full list of the 31 Advocates selected for the 2016-2017 year, please visit https://www.societyforscience.org/content/press-room/society-science-public-announces-31-new-mentors-advocate-grant-program. For more information about the Society’s Advocate Grant Program, please visit https://www.societyforscience.org/advocate-grant-program-0.