Talk 1:Curated Outreach Experiences Increase Awareness of the Biotechnology Industry and Career Education Pathways
Description: This presentation will provide examples of innovative and effective approaches to improve the awareness of the biotechnology/life science industry and the biotechnology program amongst Santa Monica College (SMC) counselors, administrators, and potential students. Through the distribution of pre- and post-workshop surveys, the data shows that upon completion of an intentionally curated outreach event, SMC educators and administrators showed a 66 percent increase in awareness of what the biotechnology industry is, and these individuals felt they would be able to describe the term biotechnology to students, parents, or other colleagues. We also observed a 57 percent increase in their understanding of what courses were required to complete the biotechnology pathway. Amongst potential students, we observed a 50 percent improvement amongst workshop participants regarding their awareness of the biotechnology industry, and a 75 percent increase in their confidence to define the term biotechnology. This work highlights the importance of creating uniquely tailored workshops that engage diverse audiences; improve awareness of the biotechnology workforce; and increase enrollment by students that identify with groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM and higher education.
Speaker: Andria Denmon, PhD, PI, Santa Monica Community College, Santa Monica, CA
Talk 2:ASPIRE, Training the Future Biotech Workforce Through a Project-Based Approach and Peer-Mentoring
Description: This project focuses on developing a training program with an in-house internship opportunity in protein biomanufacturing, ASPIRE. Here, we will describe strategies and lessons learned from the first two years implementation of the program.
Speaker: Aron Kamajaya, PI, Los Angeles Pierce College, Los Angeles, CA