University partnership exposes freshmen to bioengineering opportunities


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (August 21, 2014) — For several decades, Tuskegee has worked to expand students’ exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math careers. For the last three years, the university has partnered with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), so freshmen majoring in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering can learn more about bioengineering and earn paid summer research internships. 

The program was developed and is led by co-directors Dr. Tracy Richmond-McKnight, associate professor of radiology and biomedical imaging (UCSF), and Dr. Maria Calhoun, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Tuskegee. 

“The overarching goal of the UCSF-Tuskegee partnership in bioengineering is to continue and build upon Tuskegee University's exemplary record of graduating students in STEM areas who later go on to earn Ph.D. degrees,” Calhoun said. 

The program was recently singled out for a visit by University of California System president, Janet Napolitano, as a program of interest. The former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and Arizona governor toured UCSF laboratories with two Tuskegee students in the program, Kelli Lacy and Akili Smith-Washington. 

Lacy is a sophomore mechanical engineering student, and Smith-Washington is a junior in chemical engineering. This year, the UCSF-Tuskegee students will continue their research projects at Tuskegee University, under the joint supervision of UCSF and Tuskegee researchers. 

Freshmen can apply soon

The UCSF-Tuskegee Partnership in Bioengineering seeks freshman students majoring in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering that have an interest in bioengineering. Qualified candidates must have a demonstrated potential for success in research, and be willing to commit to research for a minimum of one year. 

Features of the program are:
  • One or two-year paid summer research internship at UCSF
  • A minimum one-year paid undergraduate research position at Tuskegee University
  • Intense instruction in the research process
  • Intense instruction in scientific oral and verbal communication
Applications will be accepted September 15 – October 31, 2014. To receive an application, or for more information contact Dr. Maria Calhoun at 334- 727-8974 or

© 2014 Tuskegee University

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