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Annual Health Sciences and Technology Academy Summer Institute set for July 13-18 on the Marshall University campus

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The state's two largest public universities are teaming up this month for the 10th annual Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) Summer Institute, to be held July 13-18 on the campus of Marshall University in Huntington.

The camp, a collaboration between West Virginia University and Marshall, will bring 112 high school from southern West Virginia together to learn more about science and the opportunities that are available to students majoring in science.

“The Health Sciences and Technology Academy's vision was founded in 1994 on the faith, resilience, spirit and commitment of individuals, communities and universities throughout the state,” said Ann Chester, state director of HSTA. “HSTA is a 9th-12th grade math and science enrichment program built in West Virginia, by West Virginians, for West Virginians which encourages aspirations, opens doors, and empowers minority and underrepresented students and communities.”

Chester said the partnership between WVU and Marshall brings students and teachers to campuses each summer for laboratory and classroom training and activities.

“The partnership then provides the infrastructure and support for community-based science projects mentored by scientists, teachers, health professionals, students and volunteer community leaders during the school year,” she said. “Through HSTA, our students and alumni are building a better tomorrow by improving our education, our lifestyles, our health literacy and our communities today.”

The camp opens at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 13, with the annual HSTA Summer Institute kickoff dinner in the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus. All 112 students, plus many HSTA club teachers, HSTA field site coordinators and MU department chairs, faculty and staff will attend the dinner.

HSTA Summer Institute Director David Cartwright said the statewide initiative “was created to inspire and teach first-generation, rural and African American youth to attend college and offset the disparity of this population in science and health care professions.”

The goal of HSTA is to increase the number of underrepresented and minority students who complete a postsecondary education in the health professions and remain in West Virginia as primary caregivers. The program was established with 45 students from two counties in 1994.

Co-directors of the event are Maurice Cooley, Dr. Girmay Berhie and Mark Mallory. Helen Bonham will assist Cartwright, Cooley, Berhie and Mallory.