Signature Programs

Summer Bridge Program

Incoming scholars who accept the offer to become a member of the Bison STEM Scholars Program are required to participate in the 6-week Summer Bridge Program, which begins in late June. As a critical component of the scholar experience, the Summer Bridge Program prepares incoming scholars for the rigors associated with pursuing an intensive, STEM-focused terminal degree. Through the College Success Seminar, scholars acquire skills in time management, decision-making, interdependence, and critical thinking. The SBP incorporates courses for seven academic credits, including Calculus, Afro-American Studies II and Chemistry Seminar. Scholars are engaged in a full schedule each week, beginning daily at 7 a.m., and lasting until 11 p.m. In addition to learning in a traditional classroom setting, the scholars participate in off-campus excursions that further enrich their knowledge and career interests before beginning their first year of studies at Howard University. 

Summer Bridge Program Educational Experience Abroad

At the conclusion of the Summer Bridge Program scholars are taken on a trip to Berlin, Germany.  This experience is the result of a collaboration with Consortium for International Education and Exchange (CIEE) and its purpose is to begin to help scholars develop a global perspective.  The world is quickly becoming more global in nature.  It is very likely that in their careers as academicians and scientists they will work with their counterparts in other countries.  Scholars will be learn about cultural differences and how to communicate despite those differences.  They will the investigate the complex intersection between culture, communication and global public health, the differences and similarities between the US and Germany.  

Professional Mentoring

A support network of faculty, staff, and STEM professionals will provide encouragement and mentoring for each student throughout their experience at Howard University. Mentors and mentees are matched based upon background, interests and goals. The typical mentor will have earned a PhD in a STEM field and have current or previous experience in research. Mentors may be in academia or industry. Pairings will be made based on common interests, backgrounds and goals. The administrators of the initiative will arrange the initial meeting and introductions for the pair. The mentor and mentee will also be provided with background information about each other. The mentoring commitment will last for the duration of the student’s matriculation at Howard University; which is expected to be 4 years. Mentors are expected to be in contact with students for at least 90 minutes per month. This contact can be via phone, internet or in person. Mentors and mentees will attend 2 BSSP events per year: one at the start of the school year and one at the end. These events will be organized and funded by the Bison STEM Scholars Program.

Research Internships

Summer research internship provide Bison STEM Scholars with training and mentoring that they will need as scientists in order to conduct research and prepare to pursue competitive applications to PhD or MD/PhD programs.  The skills and knowledge gleaned from these experiences are critical their development as scientists.  Bison STEM Scholars are required to engage in research internships every summer after their freshman year.  Examples of research sites where Bison STEM Scholars have studied are Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, UMBC, Howard, University of Alabama, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Naval Research Laboratory, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, UC-San Diego, UCLA, Exxon-Mobil, MD Anderson, CIGNA, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, UVA, Duke University, Rice University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NSF, Google,  Institute of Molecular Pathology (Vienna, Austria) and more.

Bison STEM Scholars Annual Retreat

The Bison STEM Scholars Retreat Program Retreat is conducted yearly in order to bring together the various cohorts into a family/community of scholars.  The agenda is a combination of the offering of an educational presentation and a variety of games and exercises intended to increased interactions between students. Teams are comprised of a mixture of representatives from each cohort.  The expectation is that scholars will get to know each other better and become a more cohesive group.