Psychology’s STAR Scholars Program continues to find new ways to help first-generation students and those from under-represented or low-income backgrounds develop their readiness for research positions and a variety of careers. Over the past year, we have made several changes and additions:
We expanded two awards programs: "Shining STARS" showed exceptional participation in our meetings and/or found ways to "give back" by volunteering for activities that help others learn about psychology and neuroscience. "Rising STARS" completed extra skills training and certifications to enhance their readiness for research. Many of our mentees took advantage of both!
With the help of donations from alumni and friends, we provided summer statistics and data-science workshops for STARS and low-income and under-represented students from outside of U-M.
All of our 2021-22 STARS found either a research or clinical-training position this summer, with some of them in a STAR summer research program that we were able to sponsor with the help of your donations. Several STARS will work on an honors thesis this year!
We're growing even more this year!
Many students (and mentors!) expressed a strong desire to stay connected with STAR after the initial one-year program. In response we are developing METEOR (Mentoring Extension To Empower Outstanding Researchers). In METEOR, STAR alums will share their experiences with new STARS and receive additional support to further develop their own skills and apply for graduate school and research-related careers.
We are developing a formal mentor-training program. This will not only help our graduate students give STAR mentees the best experience possible, but also help them continue to be amazing mentors as they prepare for new roles in faculty positions and nonacademic careers.
STAR is so terrific we can't keep it to ourselves! As recipients of the 2022 Carol Hollenshead Award, we will be giving a workshop on how other departments can develop similar programs. Cognitive Science is already joining us for this year!
As one of our participants said recently, “STAR is such a special program.” We are very grateful for your help via the donations that have allowed us to grow. We’re looking forward to telling you more about that and some of our individual STAR success stories in a future newsletter – stay tuned!