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Empowering Undergraduate Students to Lead Research: The ASCEND Program at Morgan State University

Broadening Participation in STEM

ISBN: 978-1-78756-908-9, eISBN: 978-1-78756-907-2

Publication date: 28 February 2019


The focus of this chapter is to describe the methods and results of ASCEND, an innovative program that empowers undergraduate students to lead research projects. ASCEND, which stands for “A Student-Centered Entrepreneurship Development Training Model to Increase Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce,” is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is being implemented at Morgan State University, a historically black university in Baltimore, Maryland. The results are thus far very promising and show that placing undergraduate students in leading research positions and surrounding them with like-minded peers enhances their sense of science identity, leadership, peer support, and research capabilities. It is hoped that students who participate in ASCEND will pursue graduate training and become future successful biomedical researchers.




The writing team acknowledges the efforts of all the members of the ASCEND team. In particular, we wish to thank Drs Jocelyn Turner-Musa, Cleo Hughes-Darden, Gloria Hoffman, and Michael Koban for their continued work with the project. We also greatly appreciate the literature review provided by Dr Jummai Apata.


Kamangar, F., Silver, G.B., Hohmann, C., Mehravaran, S. and Sheikhattari, P. (2019), "Empowering Undergraduate Students to Lead Research: The ASCEND Program at Morgan State University", Broadening Participation in STEM (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 35-53.



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