Kingston St. Louis, a first-year biology major at The State University of New York at Potsdam, will be spending his summer at Yale University as part of the 2011 Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP). After successfully navigating the highly competitive application process for SMDEP, St. Louis was selected to complete his program at the Yale University School of Medicine.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established the SMDEP in 1988 to increase the number of highly qualified medical school applicants from minority groups that were underrepresented in medicine—primarily African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians. Over the years, the SMDEP’s intensive academic preparation program expanded to 11 campuses. In addition, the program broadened its initial focus on specific minority groups to include students who were from rural areas, economically disadvantaged, and came from groups that have historically received substandard health care regardless of their racial or ethnic background.
The SMDEP focuses on students in the first two years of their college education because that is when students derive the most benefit. St. Louis will live at Yale for six weeks while participating in academic courses, workshops, seminars, medical school preparation, career development and clinical exposure activities. The program covers the cost of housing, meals, activities, travel and pays students a stipend.
St. Louis is originally from the Bronx and is an active member of SUNY Potsdam’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). In January 2011, he was selected to participate in a CSTEP winter internship at the SUNY College of Optometry in Manhattan. He is also part of SUNY Potsdam’s Emerging Leaders program.
CSTEP is funded by a grant from the New York State Education Department and works to increase the number of students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, math, health and the licensed professions. St. Louis is the second CSTEP student to be selected to the Yale SMDEP in recent years. The other, Adeola Awomolo ’10, is currently finishing her first year of medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
For more information about CSTEP and other programs coordinated by SUNY Potsdam’s Center for Diversity, visit www.potsdam.edu/studentlife/diversity/index.cfm.
Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 100 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training, and leadership in the performing and visual arts.