August 21, 2023—(BRONX, NY)—The Einstein Enrichment Program (EEP), which serves high-achieving Bronx middle and high school students, has received the 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.
The award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Einstein was one of 80 institutions from across the nation chosen for the honor this year. Winners were selected based on efforts to inspire and encourage young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.
EEP, which launched at Einstein in 1988, serves students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields or who are economically disadvantaged. The program is supported on an annual basis primarily by the New York State Education Department’s Science and Technology Entry Program, with Einstein contributing some of the funding. This year’s EEP has 77 participants.
Lynne M. Holden, M.D., senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion, whose office oversees EEP and other pathway programs at Einstein, says the initiatives are essential for helping to ensure the diversity of the future physician and scientist workforce. “These programs introduce young people who are underrepresented in science and medicine to health careers and enhance their ability to apply to and matriculate into medical school,” she says.
These programs introduce young people who are underrepresented in science and medicine to health careers and enhance their ability to apply to and matriculate into medical school.
Lynne Holden, M.D.
“Over the years, Einstein’s various pathway programs have offered thousands of students a chance to shadow physicians, attend medical workshops and lectures, perform research, connect with mentors, build a network, and much more. Now more than ever these programs are needed to help underrepresented students develop strategies to be more competitive in their grades and MCAT scores and appropriately share their life experience in essays—all of which EEP helps support.” Dr. Holden is also a professor of emergency medicine at Einstein and an emergency medicine physician at Montefiore Health System.
For the EEP high school cohort, students go to Einstein lecture halls twice a week after school for instruction in algebra, biology, chemistry, and physics and to hear from healthcare professionals, prepare for standardized tests, learn study skills, and work through college and financial-aid applications. For the middle school component, seventh and eighth graders meet for a few weeks over the summer for test preparation and work on science projects and poster presentations. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the programs were held virtually for two years.
Reginald Hayes, Einstein’s assistant dean of outreach and pathway programs in the office of diversity enhancement, is concerned that the pandemic has worsened the already wide educational deficit between under resourced Bronx schools and those in more-affluent areas. “That deficit is why EEP has existed for so long and why the need for the program continues,” he says.