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Who are we?

      The IINSPIRE-LSAMP Alumni Committee (ILAC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that unites IINSPIRE alumni to facilitate a successful undergraduate career for current Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students in STEM.

What do we do?

      We provide practical academic, financial, and professional assistance through our Initiatives like the Mentoring Program, Lending Library, ILAC Award, ILAC Intern, and more! 

How do we do it?

      ILAC fosters a welcoming and stable environment of reciprocity for both students and alumni. Alumni attend the Annual IINSPIRE LSAMP Conference where we host workshops and opportunity fairs, judge posters, moderate sessions, initiate discussions, and distribute financial awards. We also serve as mentors, participate in virtual panels, and assist in the planning and implementation of conferences.

Why do we do it?

      Our goal is to help increase BIPOC retention in STEM at the undergraduate and graduate levels for a more accurate representation in academia, industry, healthcare, business, government, and other sectors.

Mission

To provide practical academic, financial, and professional assistance to BIPOC students in STEM.

Vision

To help increase BIPOC retention in STEM at the undergraduate and graduate levels for a more accurate representation in academia, industry, healthcare, business, government, and other sectors.

Values

ILAC CARES- Inspire Leaders And Community via Collaboration, Authenticity, Reciprocity, Edification, & Support

Queenster Nartey and Paul Faronbi met during their Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) at Iowa State University in Ames Iowa in June 2014. As Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska STEM Partnership for Innovation in Research and Education- Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (IINSPIRE LSAMP) scholars, they received financial and mentorship support. They quickly became good friends and cordial rivals as they cheered on Ghana and Nigeria during the 2014 World Cup. When they graduated in 2016, Queenster was selected as a Research Fellow at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Paul earned a position with General Mills.

In 2017, they were invited to speak as panelists to share ways to Cultivate STEM Identity for Student Success from an alum’s perspective. After the conference, an older gentleman approached Queenster and encouraged her to form a group for the IINSPIRE alumni to maintain enriching relationships. Queenster shared the idea with Paul who agreed enthusiastically. Five months later, they drafted a Statement of Purpose proposal for the IINSPIRE LSAMP Alumni Committee (ILAC) and the Committee launched in July 2017. 

 

Their goal was simple- to unite IINSPIRE LSAMP alumni to help current students achieve success. During the 2017-2018 year, Paul and Queenster recruited nine alumni and hosted another panel at the 2018 conference. They decided to develop an ILAC Leadership Team (ILT) to assist them with recruitment and develop a mentoring program. During the 2018-2019 year, 20 alumni were part of ILAC, 11 of which served as mentors to 40 IINSPIRE students. In 2019-2020, the ILAC developed new initiatives: the Lending Library, Sponsorship Program, and Expansion into National LSAMP Alumni Group, all which launched during the 2020-2021 ILT. 

 

The Lending Library aims to support current undergraduate students by meeting the growing need for textbooks and graduate and professional school preparation books. The Sponsorship program was developed to raise funds to support current IINSPIRE scholars, and support ILAC initiatives, and alumni engagement. The National LSAMP Alumni Group serves as an additional resource for students to connect with LSAMP alumni all over the United States. In November 2020, the ILAC became a nonprofit corporation. Queenster and Paul are often incredulous when they reflect on the acheivements of the ILAC. 

Want more details? Click here to Read Queenster’s blog called “Fear is Worse Than Failure!

ILAC HISTORY

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Queenster Nartey and Paul Faronbi at 2016 IINSPIRE LSMAP Annual Conference in

Des Moines, IA