Alexander Wildlife Health Lab at Virginia Tech
Experiential Learning Opportunity for American Minorities
The Alexander Wildlife Health Laboratory at Virginia Tech and CARACAL Study Abroad is a unique National Science Foundation-funded experience for high school juniors and seniors from American minority communities currently under-represented in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
Increasingly, we are seeing the importance of having a diverse workforce capable of engaging scientific challenges that occur at a global scale, but also have important impacts on the national, regional, and even local scale within the United States. This is particularly true for emerging infectious diseases, the threat of which was exemplified by the devastating Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Education and career choices, however, are borne from exposure – you cannot dream about being something you have never seen. We need leaders for tomorrow who understand the needs and challenges of working in the biological sciences in developing nations. To be successful, they will need to know how to engage in divergent cultures and priorities to bring locally relevant and sustainable solutions. American minority students are underrepresented in the biological sciences. However, there is an even larger gap in the international sector. For this reason, we aim to make the way for a future led by Americans of all colors and creeds with experience in the international arena.