Graduate Program Coordinator Clifford Kennon has spent the past two and one-half years recruiting students for the UAB Neuroscience Graduate Program. An African-American himself, he knows the extra challenge in recruiting underrepresented minorities to the biomedical sciences.
“Student recruitment is challenging, and minority recruitment poses additional challenges just because of the possible recruitment pool and competition from other universities,” Kennon says.
But it is well worth the effort, he says. “Minority recruitment is extremely beneficial because it promotes UAB retention in graduate education,” says Kennon.
“A plan for on-campus and off-campus minority recruitment will make for a total recruitment package for any graduate program.”
The UAB Neuroscience Graduate Program is an interdepartmental effort bridging basic and clinical science departments throughout UAB. It has been successful in years past due to the support of the faculty director and various faculty committees that take part in the decision-making process, Kennon says.
“Factors include the applicants’ credentials and also their perception of your state, university and program. We work very hard to attract the best and brightest students to UAB,” he says.
Last fall Kennon attended the annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Studentsin Atlanta for the specific purpose of attracting minority applicants to the UAB Neuroscience Graduate Program.
Beginning this fall, Kennon will transition to assist recruitment efforts with the Vision Science Graduate Program.