Fernando Tormos-Aponte is a research grantee examining whether policing reforms prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement have led to a reduction in the number of young men of color killed by police. Tormos-Aponte received funding from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates program to form the Minority Graduate Placement Program (MIGAP). MIGAP places undergraduates in graduate programs and provides them with their first research experience. This program is a part of a pilot for an NSF INCLUDES proposal that will fund a nationwide network of graduate placement programs for students from underrepresented backgrounds and with a focus on supporting mentors and mentees in Minority Serving Institutions. Both efforts exemplify Tormos-Aponte’s approach to building infrastructures that support mentoring. Tormos-Aponte’s goals include developing the skills needed to effectively mentor junior scholars to achieve their self-defined ambitions. With this award, Tormos-Aponte will leverage his infrastructure approach to equip mentees with the skills to fulfill their self-defined aspirations. Tormos-Aponte’s mentee, Shawana Lachir, is a Ghanaian American postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. Lachir’s program of research focuses on the development of legal cynicism among Black adolescents exposed to police presence in their schools. Lachir’s goals include preparing her dissertation for publication, broadening her data collection and analysis skills, identifying external funding opportunities to support her independent scholarship, and serving as collaborator on Tormos-Aponte’s Foundation-funded project. Lachir will collaborate with Tormos-Aponte to collect quantitative data on Black Lives Matter movement features and policing policies and outcomes, and to survey police departments across the United States.
With this award, Tormos-Aponte will leverage his infrastructure approach to equip mentees with the skills to fulfill their self-defined aspirations.