M-ASCEND: Advancing Science, Enhancing Diversity Program

April 2024: Science Saturday Finale!

M-ASCEND successfully completed another program year during their final celebratory Science Saturday event on April 27th.  

Science Saturdays engage student participants and their families in the science of cancer research, health equity, and career development and opportunities.  These events are a fun opportunity to provide meaningful learning experiences to program participants.  

Take a look at photos from the event in the gallery below! 

Congrats to our 2023 Summer Interns!

Our 2023 summer internship program ended with a bang on August 11th, with interns presenting posters that they worked on over the 12 week session. Numerous research faculty and staff attended to ask them questions on their projects and to congratulate them on jobs well done! 

Following the poster presentation, the whole group gathered for well-deserved food and fun to close out another successful year! 

Hear from our 2022 Cohort!

Our summer undergraduate and high school interns gathered at McNamara Alumni Center on Thursday August 11th, 2022 to present their research. We took the opportunity to hear from our students about their experiences with the program.

About the Program

University of Minnesota M-ASCEND: Advancing Science, Enhancing Diversity is a theoretically guided, evidence-driven program designed to support the academic persistence of high school and undergraduate students underrepresented in science, and promote their developmental progress towards future careers in cancer research. M-ASCEND combines best practices with innovative approaches from education, mentorship, service learning, and parent education within an equity-oriented frame to engage, educate, and support students to achieve the knowledge, skills, science identity, and self-efficacy required to support academic persistence and long-term success within the biomedical and behavioral sciences. Diversifying the cancer research workforce is critical to addressing the pressing needs of increasingly diverse patient populations in Minnesota and across the United States.

M-ASCEND is a collaboration between the Program in Health Disparities Research and the Masonic Cancer Center. Research supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25CA250987 (PI: Allen & Pennell). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Program Leadership

Michele Allen, MD, MS, Principal Investigator

Chris Pennell, PhD, Prinicipal Investigator

Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, Faculty Mentoring Lead

Program Staff

Rodolfo Batres, MD, Project Manager

Cathleen Drilling, MS, Education and Training Manager, Masonic Cancer Center

Rosalind Palma Martins, MA, Education Program Coordinator

Faculty Mentors
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