The Native American Research Internship (NARI) and the Genomics Summer Research for Minorites (GSRM) programs at the Department of Pediatrics - Research Education Office, provide invaluable opportunities to diverse learners to pursue careers in biomedicine and research. Each NARI and GSRM participant are required to submit a research abstract from their summer research and apply for a travel scholarship to attend the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) - The National Diversity in STEM Conference.
SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. This year, the national conference gathered over 5,000 students and professionals in Puerto Rico from October 27 through October 29. Taking place over three days, the conference showcased both undergraduate and graduate student presentations, offered scientific symposia, keynote addresses, professional development sessions, and a grand Expo Hall in which students interacted with 464 exhibitors representing colleges and universities across the nation.
SACNAS Student Research Presentation Awards are determined based on scores provided by mentor-judges and the collective recommendations of judges within each STEM discipline and presented annually during the Conference. This year, SACNAS awarded 110 graduate and undergraduate students from historically excluded communities for their research and presentation skills. The Research Education Office is proud to shared that in 2022, three NARI graduates and one GSRM graduate, received outstanding awards! NARI participants Ms. Nishoni Huber (Navajo, Tuba City, AZ) and Ms. Arianna Fritz (Yankton Sioux, Champaign ILL) received SACNAS best poster award in the categories of Health Science and Neuroscience, respectively and Ms. Rehem Perry (Ramapough Lenape Nation, New York, NY) received one of two best abstracts in the category of best abstract from a Native American Undergraduate Student. GSRM participant Alejandra Cardenas Montañez (University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón) received best poster presentation award in the category Health Science - Biology.
Attending the Conference helps participants refine their presentation skills, receive one-on-one mentoring and feedback on research, and connect with a supportive community of peers, mentors, and role models. However, not everyone who has an abstract accepted is awarded a travel scholarship. A big thank you to the Department of Pediatrics and the University of Utah Health Equity Diversity and Inclusion (UHEDI) who helped support the travel for those who were not awarded a travel scholarship. The Research Education Office recognizes the hard work and dedication form institutional leadership, research mentors, cultural mentors, and the NARI and GSRM participants to standout from their fellow presenters at this outstanding conference.