Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences “Pathways to Health and Science Education Program” Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award


National Recognition of Programs That Are Making a Difference for

All Underrepresented Groups in the Fields of Science, Technology,

Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)


Kansas City, July 10, 2018


Today, Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences received the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences will be featured, along with 77 other recipients, in the September 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.

 This program exemplifies Saint Luke’s College’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan. It was conceptualized as the institution’s first formal step in creating a bridge to instill interest in and intentionally transition diverse students into the College and to the health professions, said Hubert Benitez, DDS, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Luke’s College.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences “Pathways to Health and Science Education Program” because it promotes the transition of a true pipeline of diverse students interested in pursuing careers in science and health to College. In addition, it encourages parental involvement in the educational process of students; and offers mentorship for its participants; while earning academic credit.

 “We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication, and mentorship for underrepresented students,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

 A call for nominations for this award was announced in April 2018. For more information about the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit insightintodiversity.com.


 About INSIGHT Into Diversity  

 INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education today and is known for its annual INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award that recognizes colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion in higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as explorations of best practices and profiles of exemplary programs. In our Career Center, readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com. 

PATHWAYS STUDENTS PREPARE FOR "SURGERY"

On Saturday November 4, 2017, the Pathways students had the opportunity to explore the realities of preparing for and exploring what it feels to be inside an OR (operating room). Led by Beth Cita, MSN, RN (RN-BSN Track Director at Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences), and Sharon White-Lewis, MSN, RN (BSN Track Director at Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences), the workshop focused oncCommon heart attack warning signs; resuscitation; and heart surgery. It was an exciting time for students and parents...and students felt ready to perform surgery!


Saint Luke’s College successfully “graduates” its inaugural cohort of Pathways to Health and Science Education Program students

In 2016, Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences, through the Office of the President led the creation of the College’s Pathway to Health and Science Education Program. This program, exemplifying the College’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, was conceptualized as the institution’s first formal step in creating a bridge to instill interest in and intentionally transition diverse students into the College and to the health professions.

Twelve students, 6 girls and 6 boys who are attending Missouri and Kansas high schools were accepted into the first cohort of the program which started on September 9, 2017. Throughout the academic year, students attended seven academic workshops, where a variety of topics were explored, including the life of a scientist; public health, epidemiology and biostatistics; preventing and dealing with heart attack; dental medicine, oral health and disease; motion analysis; public speaking; and viruses. In addition, during the program, the College offered three workshops designed to help parents understand and navigate a variety of aspects regarding college life of their children. Finally, the Pathways Program established a one-on-one mentorship program, where all participating students worked and interacted with an assigned mentor and experienced the excitement and challenges of solving a problem or question in any area of interest.

Ten students successfully completed the academic program which closed on Saturday May 19th with a Science Fest highlighting research poster presentations from all students. The result of the program was truly unprecedented and is highlighted by the comments from students: “This program was great. Extremely helpful and educational program. I really loved the hands-on experiences.” The comments from the parents of participating students illustrate and demonstrate the true value of the Pathway Program to our College and most importantly, to the students:

  • “I really appreciated that the program exposed the students to the real, hands-on experiences. I think that it’s critical giving them an opportunity to determine the path they want to take. The expertise and commitment from all involved was a genuine blessing”.
  • “The Program is a good example for student’s academic success. It helped to get great experience in the research atmosphere”.
  • “This is an awesome program – we are very thankful to the whole team. It provided and helped our kids with this great learning opportunity”. “I think the noncurricular material was very beneficial to both the parents (prep for College) and the students”.


 True to its commitment to address this diversity gap, the College is now accepting applications for its second cohort of students. The program will begin September 2018


THE PATHWAYS PROGRAM COMPLETES ITS SECOND ACADEMIC WORKSHOP

On Saturday October 14, 2017, the Pathways students had the opportunity to explore the exciting area of Public Health. Bert Malone, public health expert and former employee of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and for the Public Department in Kansas City engaged in discussions on issues affecting the nation, the city and our state. In addition, and joined by Dr. Phil Messner and Mrs. Jean Eckert, our students had the opportunity to engage in an exercise on how a virus spreads and converts itself into a public health issue. The program continues to academically challenge the participants and the response continues to be extremely positive.

BUILDING A BRIDGE TO FULFILL ACADEMIC DREAMS

The Pathways to Health and Science Education Program (http://www.futurehealthsciencesstudent.org/), the College’s first formal initiative in creating a bridge to intentionally transition diverse students into the College officially started on Saturday September 9, 2017. The Pathways Program includes a year-long Academy composed of a series of seven lectures and workshops to participating students; three workshops designed to help parents understand and navigate a variety of aspects regarding college life of their children; a one-on-one mentorship program, where all participating students work and interact with an assigned mentor and experience the excitement and challenges of solving a problem or question in any area of interest; and a closing Science Fest, which will include a full day summer camp experience and closing student symposium.

Twelve students, 6 girls and 6 boys who are attending Missouri and Kansas high schools were accepted into the first cohort of the program. During the orientation session, students and parents were introduced to the faculty of the Pathways Program; to the staff of Saint Luke’s College; and each participant was paired to a mentor who will guide the students in a research project. The inaugural academy session was offered by Carlos Peñaloza, PhD, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs for metropolitan Community College of Kansas City. Dr. Peñaloza presented the topic “Observe, propose, try, document, conclude and start all over again: the life of a scientist”, where topics such as the scientific method were thoroughly discussed.


Concurrent to the first academy session, the inaugural College-Parent Education Series workshop was offered. Parents of all students attended and actively participated in an open forum session where Dr. Benitez, the College President, spoke on careers and degrees in health sciences; Josh Richards and Veronica Navarro guided parents through the process of admissions; Marcia Ladage, the Dean of Students shared a wonderful first-hand account of life in College and skills for success; and Jennifer Wright, Director of Financial Aid, thoroughly explained the different options for financing an education. At the end of the session, the College was complemented for the quality of the program; for the attention to detail; to the program structure; and most importantly to the value it will bring to student participants.

We have not doubt that this program will create long lasting relationships with students and the schools where they come from; it will instill in students an appreciation for science and careers in health; and enhance the Saint Luke's brand while increasing an awareness of our institution of higher learning. Our College continues to build a bridge to fulfill academic dreams of the future generation.

As always, thank you for believing in Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences.

Hubert Benitez, DDS, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Barbara Meinke and Robert A. Kleist Endowed Professor

Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences