Release Date: August 18, 2020
BUFFALO, N.Y. — CLIMB, an innovative and comprehensive diversity program at the University at Buffalo that provides intensive mentoring experiences for biosciences students from undergraduate through postdoctoral levels, has received an award from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine.
The magazine’s 2020 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).
CLIMB (Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences) was founded at UB in 2009 by Margarita Dubocovich, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Since then, it has supported and mentored 469 summer undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers throughout the U.S., nearly half of whom (44%) were from underrepresented backgrounds, to help advance their careers through intensive research experiences at UB.
UB’s CLIMB program has three divisions:
· CLIMB-UP (Undergraduate Program) provides undergraduate students from diverse groups from institutions throughout the U.S. with the support they need to adapt and thrive in summer research at UB, and guides them toward graduate and professional careers in the biosciences.
· CLIMB-HI (High Impact) helps PhD students at UB improve communication and professional skills needed to be a successful scientist.
· CLIMB-NS (Next Step) is aimed at helping postdoctoral scientists advance toward a fulfilling career and leadership in their field.
In July 2020, the new cohort of PhD students participating in the CLIMB-HI program successfully started the program virtually as a result of the pandemic.
Dubocovich was inspired to start the CLIMB programs because of her own background growing up in rural Argentina, where advancing to complete professional or scientific careers was not encouraged, an environment similar to other students from underrepresented and diverse backgrounds.
In her experience, the desire to pursue a scientific career in that kind of environment can be very isolating. At UB, the CLIMB programs are carefully designed to provide intensive and customized experiences — with an emphasis on mentoring by prominent UB scientists — for students from the undergraduate through postdoctoral level.
According to Dubocovich, the program’s philosophy is to help all students who are excited about doing scientific research succeed at every level so that they can keep advancing.
“At the heart of CLIMB’s success is our passion for helping students and junior scientists develop into tomorrow’s scientific leaders,” she said.
CLIMB will be featured along with the other award recipients in the September 2020 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.
“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,” said Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of the magazine. “We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”