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Student Sings Praises of LSAMP Program

Mark A. Nelson at KCC summer 2008 poster session

During his first two years in the computer engineering technology program at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), recent graduate Mark A. Nelson’s GPA fluctuated between 2.5 and 3.0. He thought of himself as a more or less average student and his academic performance as average, too.  Then a classmate happened to mention the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, a chance remark that changed Mark’s educational experience for the better. LSAMP is a research program for full-time students majoring in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).

“Once I discovered that the research assistant positions offered through LSAMP during the academic year and summer were paid positions,” says Nelson, “I decided to apply. Little did I know that participation in the LSAMP program would change the way I felt about college and my overall approach to study. The program was inspiring and after attending the summer 2008 LSAMP session, my approach to learning and grades improved dramatically, allowing me to be named to the Dean’s List every succeeding semester until I graduated with honors in June 2010.”

Nelson adds that the LSAMP program encouraged him to establish much closer relationships with his professors, taught him the fundamentals of research, and provided him with invaluable information about graduate school.

“I continued to participate in LSAMP research under my mentor, Computer Engineering Technology Professor Iem Heng,” Nelson adds, “until I completed my bachelor’s degree. Not only did I earn needed money toward my educational expenses through the research work I was doing, but profited as well from a better understanding of the research process and the critical part it plays in the quest for knowledge.”

During his final semester before graduation, Nelson applied to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Graduate School in Massachusetts. Today, he’s proud to say that he has been accepted and will be pursuing graduate study in the field of robotic engineering.

“I owe so much to Professor Heng and the LSAMP program. Both were vital to my success at City Tech and to my decision to continue my education.”

Students interested in more information about the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program should contact Minerva Francis at 718.260.5529 or Mark nelson did and that meeting changed his life forever.


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