Dr. Michael Moore, of Benton, grew up watching his father bring out the best in students as a college professor. It’s no surprise that Moore followed in his father’s footsteps.
“My father was a biology teacher in college that researched education, and my mother worked as a secretary for the music department,” Moore said. “I grew up around college students. My father really modeled how students can be supported by more than teaching. He always wanted the best for his students, and the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.”
Moore came to UA Little Rock in 2021 to coordinate the Learning Assistants Program in the STEM Education Center. Learning assistants are peer mentors that are trained to help students understand class material using evidence-based practices like facilitated group work. Moore started a similar program while working in a postdoctoral teaching fellowship in STEM education at Baylor University, so the role seemed like a perfect fit.
“I am excited to have Dr. Moore as the UA Little Rock LSAMP director,” said Dr. Brian Berry, vice provost of research and dean of the Graduate School. “In addition to his expertise with peer mentoring, Dr. Moore is also studying inclusion in STEM disciplines and is part of several national initiatives to increase inclusion in STEM. His experience and passion for inclusion will be instrumental to the success of the UA Little Rock LSAMP program.”
Nine universities and colleges in Arkansas participate in the program, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and aims to increase the number of underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines.
“The LSAMP program helps minority students find their path to graduate school and successful careers,” Moore said. “I recently attended a virtual LSAMP meeting hosted by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and it feels like we have a family of educators who are dedicated to supporting students across the state of Arkansas. I appreciate the opportunity to lift up students to the best of my ability.”
UA Little Rock’s LSAMP program has approximately 30 students. Participants attend a six-week summer institute that helps incoming freshmen make a seamless transition into college. During college, they receive a scholarship along with academic advising and mentoring, professional development opportunities, and faculty-mentored research experiences.
“One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most about the Learning Assistant Program is mentoring students,” Moore said. “This new role allows me to mentor more students and help them find their paths, whether that be grad school or the next step in their career. This program puts mentoring first.”