Over the summer, a program giving underrepresented UConn and community college students an opportunity to engage in experiential learning in the University’s world-class research labs returned to Storrs. For 10 weeks, a diverse group of participants were immersed in the study of food and nutrition through a variety of laboratory and community health research projects.
Bridging the Gap II brought six students from UConn, Housatonic Community College, and Manchester Community College into the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) to participate in this intensive program. Bridging the Gap aims to develop students’ practical research skills and deepen their knowledge of food, nutrition, and health.
Funded by a $500,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture, researchers Loneke Blackman Carr and Yangchao Luo, both from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, were excited to relaunch the Bridging the Gap program. The previous iteration of the program operated from 2016 to 2019 and supported approximately 30 students.
“Our goal is to expose these students to the wide range of careers available in the fields of food and nutrition,” says Luo. “Even though this is the second time around, it feels like it is just the beginning for Bridging the Gap and the value it provides to students around the state.”