Kennesaw State University joins statewide organization to increase minority STEM majors

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Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation taps seven colleges and universities…

Georgia (Oct 28, 2011)Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation taps seven colleges and universities

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Oct. 28, 2011) — Kennesaw State University has taken another step toward increasing the number of minority students studying the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The school becomes the latest to join a consortium of colleges and universities in Georgia comprising the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP).

The Peach State LSAMP is a collaborative effort to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minority students statewide who complete undergraduate degrees in the STEM fields.

“This country desperately needs more talented young men and women pursuing the STEM disciplines if we are going to successfully compete in the new global trade arena,” said Ron Matson, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at Kennesaw State. “Membership in the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation helps us move closer toward accomplishing that goal.”    

Under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation (NSF), LSAMP is undertaking the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated series of recruitment and retention initiatives that address key transition points from undergraduate recruitment through preparation for graduate school.

As a new LSAMP member, Kennesaw State recently conducted its first “Lab Coat Ceremony” for 25 undergraduate science and math students in the College of Science and Mathematics. The students, who ranged from freshmen to seniors, are pursuing science and math degrees as part of the STEM. Matson, biology professor Army Lester III and Peach State LSAMP Executive Director Angela Y. Birkes participated in the historic ceremony.

“We currently have more than two dozen students participating in LSAMP,” said Lester, one of the organizer’s behind the school’s recent membership. “That’s a good start, and we look forward to tripling that number in the very near future.”

Those participating in KSU’s “Lab Coat Ceremony” included: Cristian Acero, Deborah Adedeji, Raymond Akinnawo, Akindele Aluko, Feiruz Atta, Rayana Braich, Brittani Brown, Iesha Dawson, Ariell Durden, Chioma Enweano, Cleonecia Forbes, Angle Foster, Lisley Garcia, Reesheda Gilbert, Camery Green, Jaleesa Griner, Ebonee Harris, Lauren Hutchinson, Isatou Jawara, Bianca Mondesir, Mahogany Morgan, Valdimir Moricette, Chinelo Onyeka, Parris Tanksley and Ezigbo Umejiego.

In addition to Kennesaw State, the LSAMP alliance consists of seven institutions with the University of Georgia serving as the lead institution. Other members include: Ft. Valley State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Perimeter College, Savannah State University and Southern Polytechnic State University.

With a student focus in mind, each institution provides services that assist underrepresented minorities with the transition from high school to college, integrate them socially and academically into the university environment, and engage them in research and summer internship opportunities. In an effort to meet the needs and expectations of the underrepresented minorities in STEM, Peach State LSAMP provides services such as academic enrichment, financial support, peer and faculty mentoring, research opportunities and summer bridge programs.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 24,100 from 142 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit