Thomas More University joins efforts to encourage STEM preparation for minority students

Thomas More University has joined over 20 local organizations as a member of the Dr. James E. Randolph Medical, Healthcare, and Scientific Leadership Program. The goal of the program is to inspire black students in northern Kentucky to become professionals in the medical, health, and scientific fields through academic enrichment, leadership development, civic engagement, and mentorship. .

The university joins organizations such as St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Gravity Diagnostics, government partners including the Northern Kentucky Department of Health, and other educational institutions such as the University of Northern Kentucky , Gateway Community and Technical College, and the Diocese of Covington School System to support students. through the Randolph Initiative.

Associate Professor of Mathematics Jyoti Saraswat and Chemistry Department Chairman William C. Wetzel lead participation in the program.

The program began with a digital launch featuring partners creating videos featuring black professionals explaining their educational and professional backgrounds. The videos are shown in local high schools with the aim of encouraging minority students to pursue studies in STEM fields. The initiative is poised to become an ongoing program at Thomas More University, with the conclusion of the inaugural year resulting in students visiting campus to experience hands-on classroom activities.

“Thomas More has an incredible opportunity to partner with school districts, Saint Elizabeth Healthcare, local industry partners and Northern Kentucky University as well as Gateway Community and Technical College, to prepare the next generation of leaders in the fields. health and STEM, through the Randolph Initiative, ”said Molly Smith, Ph.D. Thomas More University Provost.

“John Stanton, Kenton County Director of External Relations, has brought us together in an inspiring collaboration that activates a shared vision for the well-being of our communities in Northern Kentucky. Dr. Bill Wetzel (chemistry) and Dr. Jyoti Saraswat (mathematics), both passionate advocates for careers in STEM and health, are leading this effort for Thomas More. We plan to welcome students to our campus this summer and support this initiative through a variety of activities in the years to come.

James E. Randolph, MD (1888-1981), whose initiative is named after him, had close ties to the region. He moved to Covington in 1922 and opened a medical practice on Greenup Street where he practiced for 59 years. He was the first black doctor on staff at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Among notable honors, in 1974 the Eastside Neighborhood Park was renamed Randolph Park and in 1976 Dr. Randolph received the Gold Medal from La Salette Academy for service to the community. In 1997, he was posthumously inducted into the Northern Kentucky Leadership Hall of Fame.

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