“The 2012 cohort of 18 talented and promising first-year students worked hard and accomplished a great deal this summer as they began their participation in the M-Bio Program,” said Claire Sandler, managing director of the M-Bio Program. “For eight weeks, they faced a challenging schedule of classes, study sessions, community meetings and field trips, along with a variety of social and cultural activities. While the demanding summer schedule may have provided them with limited free time, it positioned them very well for what lies ahead at the U-M. I know the 2012 M-Bio Scholars are now really well prepared to thrive academically, personally, and professionally over the next four years - and beyond!”

M-Bio is a two-year program for biology-interested students admitted to U-M. The program begins with an intensive summer residential academic program followed by two years of special programming. The program is designed to strengthen and diversify the cohort of students who will receive their biological sciences degree from U-M.

Following are several comments from an anonymous survey that the students filled out upon completion of the summer program:

  • “It was a mind-opening and enriching experience. Not only did I get a clear view of what college was like, but I got to meet new people and gain new networks."

  • “It gave me the opportunity to take classes and earn credit. I also had an opportunity to learn how to approach college classes and professors."

  • “I met people with the same interests . . . became familiar with campus and had a productive summer."

  • “I feel that I am fully prepared to tackle the fall semester and the rigors of college.”

The $600,000 NSF grant that is funding scholarships for students in the program is titled “Michigan Biology Academy Scholars." The project is under the direction of Professor Deborah Goldberg, chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Claire Sandler, director, Science Learning Center. Joe Salvatore is assistant director, Science Learning Center and M-Bio Summer Program Coordinator.


The NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) award will support up to 20 scholarship recipients per entering cohort, for a total of up to 80 students over a four-year period.


Group: 18 M-Bio students and three student staff members (staff names are bold): back row: Camera Dockery, Tiffany Anthony, Will Marshall, Ashley Ogwo, Bashar Kazanji; next row: Malika Malik, Michelle Sierant, Dragana Gerasimova, Alison Corace Noel, Emilia Iglesias, Liesl Oeller, Sushmitha Diraviam; next row: Desmond Harden, Carla Cavallin, Ninette Musili, Shanna Cheng, Chris Berger, Brandon Yik, Aminul Islam; front: Rachel Webb, Lydia Green.

In lab: Lydia Green, Chris Berger, Rachel Webb

Studying: Brandon Yik, Aminul Islam, Ninette Musili, Sushmitha Diraviam, Liesl Oeller, Chris Berger

Painting the rock: Tiffany Anthony, Emilia Iglesias, Ninette Musili