Home » Local minority students see STEM career preparation at Thomas More

Local minority students see STEM career preparation at Thomas More

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — Thomas More University has joined over 20 local organizations as a member of the Dr. James E. Randolph Medical, Healthcare, and Scientific Leadership Program. The goal of the program is to inspire Black students in Northern Kentucky to become professionals in medical, healthcare, and scientific settings through academic enrichment, leadership development, civic engagement, and mentoring.

The University joins organizations such as St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Gravity Diagnostics, government partners including the Northern Kentucky Health Department, and other educational institutions such as Northern Kentucky University, Gateway Community and Technical College, and the Dioceses of Covington School System in support of students through the Randolph Initiative.

The program started with a digital launch that consisted of partners creating videos showcasing Black professionals explaining their educational and career paths. The videos are presented in local high schools with the intention of encouraging minority students to pursue a degree in the STEM fields. The initiative is set to become an ongoing program at Thomas More University, with the conclusion of the inaugural year resulting in students visiting campus to experience hands-on activities in the classroom.

“Thomas More has an incredible opportunity to join hands with school districts, Saint Elizabeth Healthcare, local industry partners, and Northern Kentucky University as well as Gateway Community and Technical College, in preparing the next generation of leaders in health and STEM fields, thanks to the Randolph Initiative,” says Thomas More University Provost Molly Smith, Ph.D. “John Stanton, director of external relations at Kenton County, brought us together in an inspiring collaboration that activates a shared vision for the well-being of our communities in northern Kentucky. Dr. Bill Wetzel (chemistry) and Dr. Jyoti Saraswat (mathematics), both passionate advocates for careers in STEM and health fields, lead this effort for Thomas More. We plan to host students on our campus this summer and to sustain this initiative through a variety of activities in coming years.”

James E. Randolph, M.D. (1888-1981), for whom the initiative is named, had strong ties to the region. He moved to Covington in 1922 and opened a medical office on Greenup Street where he practiced for 59 years. He was the first Black physician on the staff of St. Elizabeth Hospital. Among notable honors, in 1974, the Eastside Neighborhood Park was renamed Randolph Park and in 1976, Dr. Randolph was awarded the La Salette Academy’s Gold Medal for service to the community. In 1997, he was posthumously inducted into the Northern Kentucky Leadership Hall of Fame.

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