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DC GEAR UP Students Participate in BET Program, The Chop Up

Monday, April 24, 2006
Segment Features Dr. Tshaka Cunningham, a DC GEAR UP Volunteer

Students and Staff from the State Education Office’s program DC Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (DC GEAR UP) participated in the taping of a segment for the new Black Entertainment Television (BET) News program, The Chop Up.  The show, a new news magazine program, will feature a segment highlighting the life of Dr. Tshaka Cunningham, a post-doctoral scientist and DC GEAR UP volunteer. 

Dr.  Cunningham met the Theodore Roosevelt DC GEAR UP students on a recent trip to Princeton University, in New Jersey, where they attended the town hall meeting “The State of Black Men Conference.”  The students impressed conference organizers and attendees with their insightful comments and discussions from their own perspective.  Dr.  Cunningham, a researcher at the National Institutes for Health in the National Cancer Institute – Vaccine Branch, Laboratory of Molecular, Immunogenetics and Vaccines Division is working to develop effective vaccines against cancer and HIV/AIDS.  He expressed interest in working with the students, and leading discussions on careers in science and attending college and graduate school. 

When The Chop Up informed Dr. Cunningham about highlighting his life and work on the program he immediately requested permission to include the Theodore Roosevelt DC GEAR UP students in the piece “so that folks can hear about the good things we are doing through our program,” said Jennifer Mitchum, DC GEAR UP Coordinator.  The students were very excited to be a part of the program, and to have an opportunity to learn more about Dr. Cunningham and the research he is doing at NIH.

DC GEAR UP Program Director Pamela Taylor said, “We are grateful to volunteers like Dr. Cunningham for providing opportunities for our students to be recognized on both a local and national level.” 

The segment will air in May 2006.  For more information about DC GEAR UP, please contact Pamela Taylor at [email protected] or 202.724.2146.

The District of Columbia’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, in collaboration with University Partners and Key Stakeholders, uses a comprehensive approach providing resources and services to empower and prepare underserved students and their families to make informed decisions and pursue post-secondary endeavors.