SUNY New Paltz has appointed Nancy Campos as director of the AMP & CSTEP Community Program (AC2), which combines the Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP)
CSTEP is a New York State Department of Education initiative, and LSAMP is a National Science Foundation-supported partnership among select SUNY institutions. Each focuses on supporting the enrollment and academic success of students from underrepresented backgrounds in science and engineering programs.
Campos joins the College after more than five years working with LSAMP students, faculty and staff at the University at Buffalo, where she is completing her PhD. in Educational Culture, Policy and Society.
Her scholarship and teaching apply directly to the goals of the AC2 program at New Paltz.
“My research is focusing on Black and Latino students in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math,” Campos said. “I’m looking at what experiences convince them to go to graduate school, and what their experiences are like once they are in their graduate programs.”
This research has led Campos to focus on establishing supportive learning environments as the most impactful way to help students succeed, from undergraduate enrollment to pursuit of advanced degree.
“One of the things that I’ve found works really well is creating a community and a culture of STEM scholars, and encouraging students to believe in that, to see themselves as scholars,” she said. “A really important piece of this work is getting them involved in undergraduate research, which plays a major role in propelling students into graduate programs.”
Campos intends to develop research opportunities and other resources for STEM students through cross-unit partnerships, including with the Educational Opportunity Program, the Scholar’s Mentorship Program and the Center for Student Success.
“It’s exciting to be at New Paltz right now, to see the growth of these programs and the number of new students who are coming in,” she said. “I’m hopeful that we can work together to get students the type of support they need right in the beginning, because we know the first year is crucial to whether students stay and succeed in these fields.