BGSU one of 20 with STARS

Bowling Green is one of 20 universities statewide that participates in a program called STARS – Student Achievement in Research and Scholarship.

This program is designed to identify undergraduate African-American, Hispanic and Native American students with excellent academic records who are interested in pursuing graduate school and ultimately, academic careers.

Dr. Lisa Chavers, director of the STARS program on campus, describes the program as “a well-kept secret. … And it shouldn’t be,” Chavers said. “We are promoting an opportunity.”

Chavers said STARS is a program for future leaders. “It is for people who have dreams – and that are doing something about it.” STARS is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors with a 3.2 cumulative grade point average or higher. Students committed to the program are given a research stipend to conduct a research project that is presented at STARS’ annual student conference in the spring. This year’s conference is March 5-7 and is to be held at Ohio University.

STARS participants must also find a faculty member to serve as a mentor throughout the research process. Faculty members play a large role in the STARS program, according to Chavers. “They help students establish a research agenda and help them become strong researchers,” Chavers said. “They mentor them academically and professionally.”

STARS can also help students secure a faculty-mentor if they are having difficulty finding one, Chavers said.

The faculty members that mentored students for the STARS program last year were Jack Taylor, Tom Muir, Dara Musher-Eizenman and Dan Klein. These faculty upheld “the STARS expectations,” according to Chavers.

STARS participants last year researched and presented on topics such as the stock market, art, self-images of African-American children and the differences between urban and suburban school systems.

Heather Crosby, a junior and political science major, is participating in STARS for her second year. Crosby researched and presented “the deconstruction of the black male” for last year’s STARS conference. Crosby described STARS as a fun experience with many benefits.

“It [STARS conference] was one in very few times of the year that you get to be in a room full of people that are seeking higher education,” Crosby said. “STARS is a great way to network. I was able to meet students from all over Ohio.”

STARS also provides students with on campus benefits. “You are able to unite with people on the campus interested in researching and you get to work alongside a faculty member on a project you are interested in,” Crosby said.

STARS was created in 1991 at Cleveland State University. STARS is sponsored by the Ohio Board of Regents and was formed in hopes of increasing Ohio’s minority faculty on college campuses.