The 2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Awards

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INSIGHT Into Diversity is proud to present the 79 winners of the 2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. This honor recognizes the effort that colleges, universities, and outside organizations have undertaken to empower underrepresented and women students of all levels to succeed in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. From hands-on learning activities to mentorship and community support, each of these programs has developed visionary strategies to introduce diverse individuals to academic, extracurricular, and professional opportunities in STEM.

The recipients of this award have allocated the resources, support, and staff needed to create robust programming and show results that prove they make a difference in the lives of students, employees, or community members. All award winners play a role in diversifying some of the nation’s fastest-growing and most in-demand career fields.

The following award-winning programs expose children to their very first science experiments while others guide postdoctoral researchers to the next step in their careers. Many transformed their structure in order to remain in operation during the COVID-19 pandemic and are continuing to revamp their offerings in order to continue supporting members into the new academic year. Award winners include corporate partnerships, summer bridge programs, faculty mentorships, and much more. Though each program is unique, they share the common purpose of encouraging anyone traditionally underrepresented in STEM to expand their knowledge and pursue their dreams in these pivotal disciplines.


Brooklyn College student Claudia Melo conducts laboratory
work as part of an initiative hosted by the Center for Achievement in Science Education, or CASE, program.

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Brooklyn College Center for Achievement in Science Education (CASE)

Level: Undergraduate
CASE assists underrepresented students through targeted programs and services intended to teach the “hidden curriculum” of college and support those ill-prepared in high school for college-level STEM courses. It includes dedicated offices, computer facilities, a lab for teaching research techniques, and a library for students without access to high-cost textbooks. 

Of Interest: Each year, CASE serves more than 400 underrepresented individuals — both current and former students alike — across different programs and events.

A student performs an experiment in chemistry lab at Denison University.

Denison University Science Division
The Readiness and Inclusion in Science Education (RAISE) Program

Level: Undergraduate
In an effort to create a culture of inclusion and increase representation in the sciences, the RAISE program offers first-year underrepresented students an early research experience in a summer cohort. Participants also receive peer mentoring to assist with the transition to college and meet with visiting speakers who share their experiences as underrepresented scientists and their journeys to fulfilling careers in STEM.

Of Interest: RAISE measures its effectiveness by collecting self-reported longitudinal data, such as student perceptions of science culture and their sense of belonging within scientific disciplines.

A Lone Star College-University Park geology professor uses a three-story rock wall to provide hands-on instruction in the college’s Center for Science and Innovation.

Lone Star College-University Park (LSC-UP)
Division of Math and Sciences
Department of Geology

Level: High School and Undergraduate
LSC-UP’s Department of Geology gives underrepresented students field experiences, place-based learning, and opportunities to work alongside industry professionals. In addition, LSC-UP geology faculty have participated in the Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education at Two-Year Colleges program, which aims to develop a pipeline of students from two-year colleges interested in geology and encourage them to seek a four-year degree in the subject.

Of Interest: The department is currently working with Sam Houston State University’s Geoscience Department to recruit underrepresented students to geology and STEM with the support of a National Science Foundation three-year grant, which funds a summer bridge program and other initiatives for Houston-area youth.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Salk Education Outreach

Level: K-12
Salk Education Outreach serves K-12 students in San Diego County, a majority of whom come from underrepresented and underserved communities, through programs that aim to reduce economic barriers to high-quality STEM education. For example, the Salk Mobile Science Lab and the March of Dimes High School Science Day offer middle and high school students, respectively, the opportunity to conduct hands-on experiments and meet with scientists to learn about their career paths. The institute also offers a paid summer internship program for high schoolers to complete research and experiments.

Of Interest: In the past decade, the Salk Mobile Science Lab has reached more than 20,000 students.

A graduate of the University of West Florida Chem Scholars program conducts research as a PhD student.

University of West Florida Hal Marcus
College of Science and Engineering
Chem Scholars

Level: Undergraduate
Chem Scholars is a learning community dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented chemistry students who choose to pursue PhD or MD-PhD degrees. The program incorporates four key components: academic and social integration; knowledge and skill development; support and motivation; and monitoring and advising. Specific efforts include mentoring students to apply for the American Chemical Society Scholars Program, which has resulted in multiple Chem Scholars being awarded financial assistance.

Of Interest: Since the Chem Scholars program was established in 2011, the number of underrepresented chemistry graduates has increased from 6 percent to
30 percent.


A Bowling Green State University student (center) with her student mentees from the CODE4her program

Bowling Green State University
College of Arts and Sciences – Computer Science Department
CODE4her Computer Science Mentorship Program for Girls

Level: Middle School and Undergraduate
More than 200 girls in grades fifth through eighth have participated in CODE4her mentoring sessions since the program’s launch in 2016. Each participant is paired with an undergraduate woman student who serves as a mentor for the duration of the sessions in which girls are introduced to computer science by working with LEGO EV3 robots, Sphero SPARK+ robots, micro:bit circuit boards, and more.

Of Interest: In addition to introducing young girls to the world of coding, CODE4her improves belonging and retention for the undergraduate women who serve as mentors through its unique combination of service, engagement, community outreach, and informal learning.

Members of the STEM Outreach Workshop Initiative from Hudson Valley Community College’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Pictured from left to right: Ainsley Thomas, chief diversity officer; Kayla Miller, SOWI STEM Is Elementary facilitator; HVCC President Roger Ramsammy; Taunya Hannibal-Williams, community outreach specialist; and Mac-Arthur Louis, SOWI Robotics facilitator

Hudson Valley Community College
Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
STEM Outreach Workshop Initiative (SOWI)

Level: Middle and High School
Created in spring 2020, SOWI is a summer pipeline program that offers underrepresented students in grades sixth through twelfth free classes in coding, Python and Java programming languages, and more. In fall 2020, it was expanded to include a Saturday robotics program that led to the formation of a competitive robotics team. SOWI is extending its offerings even further in fall 2021 by adding virtual robotics and earth sciences camps.

Of Interest: In spring 2021, the SOWI PreCoders team competed in a virtual, international robotics tournament and came in 14th place.

Mission College
Virtual Reality Engineering Summer (VRES) Camp

Level: High School
The VRES Camp is part of Mission College’s Hispanic-Serving Institution STEM Outreach program and is designed specifically for high school students coming from low-income, first generation, Latinx backgrounds to learn about virtual and augmented reality, meet with professionals in the field, and more. The camp combines lectures, demonstrations, in-class discussions, projects, “play” time, and presentations by diverse industry professionals.

Of Interest: Of the high schoolers who participated in VRES Camp in 2020, half were migrant students and two-thirds were young women.

New York Institute of Technology
College of Engineering and Computing Sciences
Python Programming for Women and Single Parents

Level: Adult Learners
This recently launched program is designed to teach coding skills in the Python programming language and provide career services and networking opportunities to support women, single parents, and caregivers who have been affected by the COVID-19 economic downturn and are unemployed or underemployed. The program’s easy-to-follow instructions include an introduction to simple data types, program flow control structures, exception handling and functions, and object-oriented programming.

Of Interest: The first iteration of the Python Programming for Women and Single Parents program received such positive feedback that it will be continued into the fall 2021 semester.

The Cybergirl Cyberworld Gencyber program at Northeastern Illinois University teaches girls about cybersecurity.

Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU)
Center for College Access and Success (CCAS)
Cybergirl Cyberworld Gencyber Program

Level: High School
This unique camp is a 10-day virtual event for diverse young women from area high schools who have no previous coding experience. The camp is designed to grow their interest in cybersecurity, help them gain understanding of safe online behavior, and learn to apply GenCyber Cybersecurity Concepts. Throughout the program, participants experience what it is like to be a network detective and are able to virtually interact with women in the field, CEOs, and NEIU undergraduate mentors who train them to create their own programming and more.

Of Interest: During the camp’s capstone event, members present their computer programming and favorite lessons from the camp to an audience of parents and NEIU professionals.

STEM Explorers design digital models to 3D print at Texas Tech University.

Texas Tech University (TTU) College of Education
STEM Explorers Program

Level: Middle and High School
The STEM Explorers Program delivers instruction in robotics, electronics, coding and programming, digital manufacturing, computer-aided design, and app development. Designed specifically for children in foster care — a population with one of the lowest college enrollment rates — the program is traditionally taught by undergraduate and faculty volunteers. Recently, new grant funding helped expand curriculum and outreach for STEM Explorers, enabling it to become an official component of a TTU service-learning course.

Of Interest: While this program is largely focused on middle and high school students, children as young as six have successfully engaged with STEM Explorers materials.

Members of the Women in Nanotechnology program at University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the North Carolina A&T State University Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN)
Women in Nanotechnology

Level: Undergraduate, Graduate, and Faculty
Designed to grow the number of women who pursue graduate degrees in nanotechnology and related fields, this unique program provides mentorships, stipends, fellowship, and travel awards. To help reach Women in Nanotechnology’s goals, JSNN has also successfully increased its number of women faculty in the last three years from 12.5 to 33 percent.

Of Interest: JSNN’s women faculty have increased the number of patents from 10 percent in 2016 to 50 percent in 2021, and are leading the department in research grants, commercialization, and spin-off companies.


Mentees in the Women in Science and Engineering Multi-Mode Mentoring program meet virtually with their faculty mentors from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona.

California Polytechnic State University, Pomona
College of Engineering
Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)

Level: Undergraduate, Graduate, and Faculty
In collaboration with corporations, STEM alums, and the campus community, WiSE operates a variety of activities including faculty mentoring workshops, an alumnae speaker series, and a multi-mode mentoring program that connects a large network of peer, faculty, and industry mentors. WiSE research shows that the program is proven to increase members’ sense of belonging within the STEM community on campus.

Of Interest: The WiSE Multi-Mode Mentoring Program implemented “E-mentoring” via email, social media, and video conferencing to help participants stay in touch during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.

Members of the Attract, Inspire, Mentor, and Support Students,
or AIMS^2 program, at California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge
College of Engineering and Computer Science (CSUN CESC)
Attract, Inspire, Mentor, and Support Students (AIMS^2)

Level: Undergraduate
AIMS^2 currently serves more than 500 students at CSUN CESC and four area community colleges by providing mentorships, tutoring, research opportunities, and much more. The highly successful program is now in its 10th year and has received nationwide recognition for its success in closing achievement gaps for Hispanic, Latinx, and low-income students in engineering and computer science.

Of Interest: Nearly 95 percent of AIMS^2 participants agree that engaging in research opportunities helped confirm their interest in their field of study.

Students in the Washkewicz College of Engineering at
Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University
Washkewicz College of Engineering
Engineering Student Success Scholars (ESS) Program

Level: Undergraduate
ESS targets underrepresented first year, second year, and transfer students majoring in engineering, technology, or computer science. The program assists these individuals in degree success and completion by offering academic workshops, tutoring, scholarships, comprehensive counseling, paid internship and research opportunities, and more.

Of Interest: ESS currently serves more than 50 students and is considered one of the most impactful diversity and inclusion initiatives hosted by the college’s Dean’s Diversity Council.

Grand Valley State University (GVSU)
Padnos College of Engineering and Computing
GVSU and FVSU Agreement: Pathway to Master’s Degree

Level: Undergraduate and Graduate
GVSU has partnered with FVSU — or Fort Valley State University — to create a pathway for students to earn a master’s degree in engineering or computer science in as little as five years. This pathway will allow students from FVSU, a historically Black institution in Georgia, to join the pipeline of STEM talent in western Michigan, where GVSU is located. Participants will be able to earn a rigorous advanced degree while benefitting from GVSU’s resources that can enable them to graduate and find jobs.

Of Interest: GVSU has a goal to establish partnerships with more historically Black colleges and universities, thus diversifying the university while creating a pipeline for student success between institutions.

Students in the Hostos Community College dual engineering program participate in a study group session.

Hostos Community College (HCC)
Joint Dual Engineering Degree Program with The City College of New York Grove School of Engineering (CUNY GSOE)

Level: Community College and Undergraduate
This dual degree program provides a strong STEM foundation for HCC’s multicultural and underrepresented student population, particularly in the field of engineering. By providing tutoring, mentoring, STEM boot camps, and more, the program has been able to achieve high graduation and transfer rates to CUNY GSOE. The program also offers curricular and co-curricular activities as well as an advisement and mentoring model that nurtures students’ transition from community college to a four-year degree program.

Of Interest: Since its inception in 2004, 272 students have graduated from the HCC Joint Dual Engineering program; 49 percent of graduates are Latinx and 18 percent are women.

Members of the Oklahoma State University College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology Summer Bridge program outside of the ENDEAVOR laboratory after completing engineering design projects

Oklahoma State University
College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology (OSU CEAT)
CEAT’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs

High School and Undergraduate
The college’s DEI efforts include an action plan and
scholarship program to attract and support underrepresented students, a summer bridge opportunity for high school through first-year students, and a pre-CEAT program for incoming students who may not be ready for the rigors of STEM education. The popular summer bridge program serves nearly 150 participants who are able to work on interactive engineering design projects with the help of CEAT faculty and participate in review courses in physics, math, and technical writing.

Of Interest: CEAT Summer Bridge Program participants become residents of the college’s freshman living-learning community, which offers a live-in staff mentor and upper-level student mentors.

Southern Methodist University STEM campers in the Hamon Introduction to Engineering Camp for Girls building the final design of the team’s catapult.

Southern Methodist University
Lyle School of Engineering (SMU Lyle)
Hamon STEM Camps, ImpactNights, and
She Networks She Wins (SNSW)

Level: Middle School, High School, Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional
Among the many events hosted by SMU Lyle is the Hamon Summer Camp, a 12-day residential experience for local high schoolers and shorter day camp experience for middle schoolers that focuses on engineering disciplines. As part of the Inclusive Economy Consortium, the school participates in ImpactNights to connect like-minded professionals to collaborate on pressing social issues. SNSW, another offering, is an annual professional event for undergraduate and graduate women.

Of Interest: Nearly 20 percent of SMU Lyle students are Black or Latinx and 33 percent are women.

Members of the Women in Engineering at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Women in Engineering (WIE)

Level: High School and Undergraduate
WIE has developed a comprehensive array of outreach, recruitment, and retention activities to further increase the number of women graduating with engineering degrees
Among the services provided by WIE are an orientation for new women engineering students, freshman mentoring classes, leadership workshops, academic advising, and more.

Of Interest: As of fall 2018, approximately 25 percent of the school’s first-year engineering students were women; in some specific engineering degree programs — including bioengineering, computer science, and engineering undeclared.— the first-year cohort was nearly 40 percent women.

Wilbur Wright College Center of Excellence for Engineering and Computer Science
Engineering at Wright

Level: High School and Community College
The engineering program’s approach to increasing diversity
is grounded on equitable practices that strive to alleviate academic, financial, social, and other barriers; increase belonging to the college and the profession; and develop self- efficacy. Student supports include a summer bridge program for those who are underprepared to succeed in engineering education as well as the use of the holistic and programmatic approach for transfer (HPAT) model to guide students on the path to a four-year degree.

Of Interest: More than 70 percent of students enrolled in the school’s engineering program are Hispanic or Latinx, 25 percent are women, and 12 percent are Black.


The 2019 class of the Joaquín Bustoz Math-Science Honors program on campus at the Arizona State University School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Arizona State University (ASU) School of Mathematical
and Statistical Sciences
Joaquín Bustoz Math-Science Honors Program (JBMSHP)

Level: High School
ASU recruits underrepresented JBMSHP participants from high schools across the state of Arizona and the Navajo Nation for this on-campus summer program. Faculty and staff closely mentor students while they are given the opportunity to focus on their studies, develop a strong academic work ethic, and become familiar with the college environment.

Of Interest: Nearly 3,000 students have participated in JBMSHP during its 36 years of existence.

Central Washington University (CWU)
College of the Sciences, Mathematics Department
Círculo de Matemáticas en Espanol de Central
(Kittitas Valley Spanish Language Math Circles)

Level: Elementary and Middle School
The CWU’s Math Circles program gives local K-8 students as well as their families the opportunity to engage with non-standard math under the guidance of CWU faculty and students. The Spanish-language version of this program, which offers students the ability to learn from bilingual CWU undergraduates, has been successful at increasing participation among the Hispanic community and providing middle school participants with positive role models.

Of Interest: CWU Math Circles use art, games, and other fun-focused activities to help Spanish-language speakers build their confidence as mathematicians.

An economics class at Hamilton College

Hamilton College
Economics Department

Level: Undergraduate
The Hamilton College Economics Department recently undertook major curricular reforms to attract and retain women and students of color. A key component is a new Economic Theory and Evidence course that integrates the teaching of introductory economics and statistics with an understanding of the causes and consequences of inequality. The overall philosophy of the course is that by broadening students’ perceptions of this discipline, the college can widen its appeal to those with diverse interests and perspectives.

Of Interest: The Journal of Economic Education published a detailed analysis of the college’s curricular reform by faculty members Ann L. Owen and Paul Hagstrom in the June 2021 issue.

Post-baccalaureate students at Iowa State University during the 2018-2019 academic year

Iowa State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Math Post-Baccalaureate Program – Bridge the Gap

Level: Undergraduate and Graduate
Bridge the Gap is a one-year post-baccalaureate program that helps undergraduate degree holders smoothly transition to the rigors of graduate-level mathematics education. The program creates a community of support that includes mentoring from peers and top faculty who help guide participants through the graduate school application process.

Of Interest: Bridge the Gap is uniquely funded by the liberal arts college, the mathematics department, and private donors. By forgoing federal funding, the program is able to support international students in addition to participants from the U.S.

Panelists for the Emmy Noether High School Mathematics Day, hosted by Texas Tech University Department of Mathematics and Statistics, include STEM professionals who teach students about educational and career options.

Texas Tech University Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Emmy Noether High School Mathematics Days (ENHD)

Level: Middle and High School
This special event exposes diverse young women and girls from local schools to opportunities in mathematics and STEM in a fun and nurturing environment that includes talks, interactive workshops, panel discussions, and a math competition. Throughout the day, students meet with women professors while their teachers participate in workshops on fostering STEM interests in the classroom.

Of Interest: Participants have continuously ranked the event’s Career Panel as their favorite ENHD event, with a recorded evaluation score of 4.8 out of 5 for 10 years in a row; the panel features university faculty and other professionals who share information on the wide range of math and STEM career options.

Health and Medicine

Yessinia Enriquez, a second-year student at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, mentors Dreamline Pathway students from St. Louis in the university’s dental simulation lab.

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU)
Dreamline Pathways

Level: K-12
The Dreamline Pathways programs are comprehensive community-based collaborations that introduce K-12 students to graduate health professions programs offered at ATSU through experiential learning opportunities. The programs provide health care mentors, campus tours, health and dental screenings, and more. In 2021, the university launched a summer immersion experience that exposed students to a variety of professions including osteopathy, nursing, and allied health careers.

Of Interest: ATSU provided full tuition for 25 underserved students to attend the new summer immersion experience, known as the ATSU-Truman Healthcare Academy, in partnership with Truman State University.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx Health Opportunities Partnership at Einstein
(Bronx HOPE) Summer Collaborative

Level: Undergraduate
Established during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bronx HOPE supports underrepresented students who may have lost access to summer workforce and educational opportunities. The six-week online initiative is a collaboration between three pathway programs that support undergraduates interested in health science careers who are from disadvantaged Bronx communities, many of which have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Of Interest: Students who participated in Bronx HOPE said they felt supported, reinvigorated, and even more motivated to pursue biomedical careers after completing the program.

Members of the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Programs at Creighton University

Creighton University Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs Department (HS-MACA)
Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical and Pre-Dental Programs

Level: Undergraduate and Graduate
Creighton University’s HS-MACA programs offer diverse individuals the training and skills necessary to succeed in medical and dental school. Administered by the Health Sciences Office of Multicultural and Community Affairs, the programs serve as models for training students from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.

Of Interest: Since 2000, 48 students have completed the summer pre-matriculation program, 86 have completed the pre-dental program, and 152 have completed the pre-medical program.

A participant in the Undergraduate Science Students Together Reaching Instructional Diversity and Excellence, or USSTRIDE, program at Florida State University teaches clinical skills to underrepresented high school students.

Florida State University College of Medicine (FSU COM)
Undergraduate Science Students Together
Reaching Instructional Diversity and Excellence (USSTRIDE) Program

Level: Undergraduate
USSTRIDE focuses on providing a comprehensive structure of support to undergraduates who matriculate to the university from FSU COM’s pre-college pipeline program as well as pre-medical students from various Florida colleges and universities. USSTRIDE students develop standardized test-taking skills, participate in professional development workshops, engage in mentoring, receive assistance with medical school applications, and more.

Of Interest: Over the past 28 years, USSTRIDE has served 653 students, 97 percent of whom successfully completed their undergraduate degrees.

Harvard School of Dental Medicine students from the Class of 2023 serve as instructors in the third annual Bridge to Dental School program.

Harvard University School of Dental Medicine (HSDM)
Bridge to Dental School Program (BDS)

Level: Undergraduate
This interactive summer pipeline program at HSDM is led by current students and covers general study tips for the Dental Admission Test and other essential elements for crafting a competitive dental school application. The free program places emphasis on teaching participants — who are generally underrepresented students from marginalized communities across the U.S. — how to craft personal statements and résumés, enhance their interviewing skills, and learn more about dental school curriculum.

Of Interest: BDS members must identify as a member of an underrepresented group in medicine as defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges, which includes students who are Black, Latinx, Native American, LGBTQ, the first in their families to attend college, and others.

High school students in New York University College of Dentistry’s Saturday Academy take part in a hands-on lab activity.

New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry)
Saturday Academy

Level: High School
The mission of the Saturday Academy is to increase diversity in the health care professions, especially dentistry, by introducing underrepresented high school students to the dental profession while simultaneously preparing them for the college application process. Local high schools and community partnerships assist in recruiting students, who then spend seven sessions conducting hands-on, pre-clinical dental activities. Additional benefits of the program include mentorship from dental student volunteers and assistance with résumés, personal statements, mock interviews, and more.

Of Interest: Saturday Academy was created in 2012 by Dr. Lorel Burns and Dr. Cheryline Pezzullo when they were second-year students; both women now serve as NYU Dentistry faculty.

Members of the League of VetaHumanz at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine support aspiring veterinarians.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine (PVM)
The League of VetaHumanz

Level: K-12
PVM faculty conceived of this program as an inclusive veterinary “superhero” league in which veterinarians in academia, practice, research, government, and industry provide access and support for underserved youth with the aim of diversifying the field. Teams of diverse veterinary role models facilitate career exploration and experiential learning with K-12 students while teaching such topics as the impact of veterinary medical research on public health.

Of Interest: In 22 states, teams of VetaHumanz, VetaHumanz in Training (veterinary medical students), and Allied Superheroes deliver STEM programming to underserved K-5 students through partnerships with schools and community centers.

The graduating class of the Vet Up! Program at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine (PVM)
Vet Up! National Academy for Veterinary Medicine

Level: High School, Undergraduate, Graduate, and Adult Learners
PVM’s Vet Up! program focuses on recruiting and supporting underrepresented students to pursue veterinary medicine. One component of Vet Up! is a 12-month online program that targets high schoolers, college freshmen and sophomores, and adult learners. Among its other offerings is a six-week residential program that allows college juniors and seniors to experience life as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) student, learn study strategies, and more.

Of Interest: VetUp! hosts a scholarship program for marginalized DVM students that funds study abroad opportunities as well as regular tuition.

A Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences student works in Rush University’s anatomy lab.

Rush University College of Health Sciences (RU CHS)
Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS)

Level: Undergraduate
Launched in collaboration with Malcolm X College, a two-year institution, BSHS creates a seamless process for students to complete a four-year degree. Students are encouraged to participate in the RU CHS undergraduate ICARE Peer Mentoring program, which aids them in transitioning to undergraduate university studies and supports professional, academic, and personal student experiences.

Of Interest: Since its inception in 2013, 81 percent of BSHS students have gone on to enter a graduate degree program.

St. Thomas University student Christian Del Corro conducts research during the College of Science, Technology, and Health’s Summer Research Institute.

St. Thomas University (STU)
College of Science, Technology, and Health
Summer Research Institute (SRI)

Level: Undergraduate
The SRI is a collaboration between STU and several other Florida universities that brings together diverse undergraduates to participate in cutting-edge research. In 2020, under the leadership of seven STU faculty mentors, SRI students conducted research in the fields of biology, chemistry, and computer science. Nearly 65 percent of participants were women, and 80 percent were racially or ethnically underrepresented.

Of Interest: The SRI has conducted research on the latest COVID-19 developments, antioxidant and anticancer activities of medicinal plants, central nervous system regeneration, Cloud hosting and artificial intelligence in video games, and much more.

The Ohio State University College of Optometry’s Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers, or I-DOC, program

The Ohio State University College of Optometry
Improving Diversity in Optometric Careers (I-DOC)

Level: High School and Undergraduate
Now in its 15th year, I-DOC is a residential pipeline summer program that encourages underrepresented high schoolers and undergraduates to consider optometry as a professional career. Over the course of four days, students learn the basics of optometry, the importance of promoting diversity in the field, how to apply to the college, and more. Once the program ends, participants are connected with alumni for shadowing opportunities and have the option to join an alumni club where they can check in regularly with their peers as they navigate the application process.

Of Interest: Corporate sponsorships help the college provide I-DOC at no cost to students, covering travel, food, and lodging for 25 to 30 participants annually.

The University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy Urban Pathways Program

The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy
Urban Pathways Program

Level: High School
The six-week Urban Pathways Program is dedicated to exposing underrepresented high school students to the pharmacy profession. During the first three weeks, students shadow faculty, attend lectures on topics that highlight prevalent diseases in marginalized communities, and engage in hands-on experiments to enrich their understanding of science and clinical research. In the last portion of the program, students are assigned to a community pharmacy practice site at either a CVS or Walgreens.

Of Interest: In the 15 years since the Urban Pathways Program was founded, approximately 63 percent of participants have matriculated into pharmacy school, including at UIC.

The University of Texas at Tyler Health Science Center
High School Pre-Health Conference

Level: High School
The Pre-Health Conference is a unique opportunity for rural, underrepresented high school students across East Texas to explore and learn about the many career options and degree programs in biomedical research, public health, and medicine. The event gives attendees the opportunity to meet with a wide range of health professionals and to develop key skills such as interviewing, resume writing, and professional communication.

Of Interest: The Pre-Health Conference has served more than 1,100 aspiring health professionals from 30 area high schools since the inaugural event in September 2017.

MedAchieve student Jordan McDonald (left) with mentor Kowshik Sen at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
The MedAchieve Program

Level: High School
MedAchieve is a two-year, after-school program serving high school students in the Harlem community who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine. Each participant is partnered with a current medical student who works virtually alongside them throughout the program and helps guide them in their academic and future career goals. Specific offerings include interactive lectures in neuroanatomy, genetics, public health, and more.

Of Interest: The MedAchieve Empowerment Scholarship provides a participant who successfully completes the program with financial assistance for college and university application fees, ACT/SAT courses, and other college preparation resources.

Students in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Laddered Pipeline Program

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
College of Medicine Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI)
Laddered Pipeline Program

Level: K-12, Undergraduate, and Graduate
UAMS DDEI has a ladder of summer outreach programs for underrepresented students beginning in kindergarten and continuing through college to the medical professions. Special STEM academies designed for K-12 students introduce children to health care professions, and unique programs focus on severely underrepresented populations, such as young Black men. UAMS DDEI also conducts outreach at colleges across the state to introduce underserved students to graduate programs and careers in the health professions.

Of Interest: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the DDEI created a virtual program known as Prometheus that allows students to search for mentors in their area of professional or research interests; communities are grouped by colleges, student organizations, and professional groups to help students find individuals who best fit their career path.

Students in the Junior STEM Academy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences display cell recreations.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI)
Junior STEM Academy (JSA) and Senior STEM Academy (SSA)

Level: Elementary and Middle School
JSA and SSA are one-week summer programs aimed at closing achievement gaps for underrepresented and low-income students using a unique project-based curriculum that incorporates mental health and wellness, community service, and more. JSA serves elementary students while SSA serves grades six to eight, and many participants return for multiple years.

Of Interest: JSA and SSA students participate in a white coat ceremony akin to the one for medical school graduates. Staff members report a visible change in behavior and confidence in students who wear their white coats during learning experiences.

Participants in the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine’s Future Physician Leaders program attend a weekly lecture informing them how to reduce health inequities in the local community.

University of California, Riverside School of Medicine
Future Physician Leaders

Level: High School and Undergraduate
The Future Physicians Leaders program aims to provide mentorship to students who aspire to medical careers and are likely to practice in their home communities to address health care inequities. During the nine-week summer initiative, nearly 150 participants engage in workshops, attend lectures, and create their own community health projects with the goal of improving health care access in high-need areas around inland Southern California.

Of Interest: Upon completion of the program, 100 percent of participants stated that their confidence and motivation to pursue medicine increased.

A group of participants in the Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic & Investigational Laboratory at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in November 2019

University of Georgia
College of Veterinary Medicine (UGA CVM)
Tifton Veterinary Diagnostic & Investigational Laboratory

Level: High School and Undergraduate
UGA CVM has developed the first laboratory-centered “exploratory academy” instruction model for undergraduate and high school students from underrepresented and underserved rural communities in South Georgia. Students in these communities have multiple educational opportunities that allow them to explore veterinary medicine with a special emphasis on veterinary laboratory diagnostics.

Of Interest: The Tifton laboratory’s specific opportunities include observing the daily operations of an all-species animal disease laboratory, interacting with UGA CVM faculty of various specialties, and full-day workshops that offer lectures and laboratory shadowing.

Brittany Wright, diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator and assistant clinical professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry, helps oversee Eyes on Diversity: Summer EYE Academy.

University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Optometry
Eyes on Diversity: Summer E.Y.E. Academy

Level: High School
High school students in the Summer E.Y.E. Academy are exposed to the optometry profession through a variety of hands-on activities and presentations. In addition to learning basic clinical skills, shadowing professionals, and receiving assistance in planning for optometry school, students also meet with local optometrists who are historically underrepresented in the field.

Of Interest: Specific academy activities include lessons on taking a patient’s case history and assessing visual acuity in addition to presentations on diversity topics.

University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
Club Scrubs

Level: High School
Club Scrubs is a hands-on, interactive club for underrepresented high schoolers interested in exploring health care careers. Members hear from medical faculty, staff, and current medical students in a number of different specialties, in addition to hearing from each of the other colleges on the Health Sciences Center Campus. The club meets bi-monthly throughout the school year.

Of Interest: During the 2020-2021 academic year, Club Scrubs met twice per month via Zoom and held a socially distanced graduation ceremony so members would not miss out on the exciting activities and essential support that the club offers.

Students in the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center’s Aspiring Health Professions Summer Academy tour the Clinical Skills Education & Testing Center.

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OU HSC) Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Aspiring Health Professions Summer Academy

Level: High School
This unique academy is a weeklong experience for underrepresented high schoolers in coordination with OU’s seven health professions colleges. Participants have the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities with each college, including learning how to suture with the OU College of Medicine and completing science experiments with the OU Graduate College. Students engage in learning sessions regarding mentorship, financial aid, money management, and the college admissions process.

Of Interest: On the last day of the academy, students complete a “Stop the Bleed” training that certifies each one to successfully recognize and treat a life-threatening trauma bleed.

The 2019 class of the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s Summer Medical Leadership Program

University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine
Summer Medical Leadership Program (SMLP)

Level: Undergraduate
SMLP is a virtual medical academic enrichment program whose primary goal is to expose participants to “real world medicine” and prepare them not only for admission to medical school but to assume future leadership positions in medicine and the biomedical field. The program is an intensive six-week residential summer experience for
30 undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds — selected from a nationwide pool of applicants — who are interested in medical careers.

Of Interest: SMLP’s director, Dr. Taison Bell, is also the director of a multidisciplinary mechanical ventilation course taught to critical care fellows and has led UVA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UT Southwestern Medical Center
Future Doctors Pipeline Program

Level: Elementary School
Established by UT Southwestern medical students, the Future Doctors Pipeline program provides outreach to underrepresented students in disadvantaged communities to encourage them to pursue medical careers. The program involves current underrepresented medical students volunteering their services at local elementary schools, where they provide a variety of engagement activities and share their love of science. Additionally, the volunteers attend PTA meetings to discuss ways that parents can promote their child’s interest in science and medicine.

Of Interest: Program volunteers have visited approximately 40 schools and engaged with hundreds of students, teachers, and principals in the six years since Future Doctors was established.


Members of the Adelphi University Science Technology Entry Program and Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program with director Sabita Nayak (center)

Adelphi University College of Arts and Sciences
Science Technology Entry Program (STEP) and Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)

Middle School, High School, and Undergraduate
STEP inspires and prepares middle and high schoolers to enter STEM careers by offering instructional and experimental opportunities in learning environments where students can feel comfortable without being subjected to in-school social pressures. CSTEP — designed for undergraduates — raises retention and success rates through academic and research enrichment, risk assessment and counseling, professional conferences, workshops, and more.

Of Interest: During the 2020-2021 academic year, STEP and CSTEP adapted their services to virtual environments by hosting events such as an online robotics competition and virtual research presentations.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Einstein Enrichment Program (EEP)

Level: Middle School, High School, and Undergraduate
EEP introduces students in grades seven to twelve to careers in science, medicine, and health care through science course review, participation in college-level poster presentations, and more. The state-funded program continues into an undergraduate version known as EEPx, which offers clinical and research lab shadowing programs with current medical students and practitioners.

Of Interest: Almost 89 percent of students who complete EEP go on to pursue medical or health care degrees in college.

Members of Clemson University’s College of Science Mentoring and Inclusion Collaborative, or COSMIC, participate in a service-learning project at a local nonprofit.

Clemson University (CU) College of Science
College of Science Mentoring and Inclusion Collaborative (COSMIC)

Level: Undergraduate
COSMIC launched in 2018 as a mentorship and support program for students who are racially underrepresented in STEM and has grown to include a study hall, service-learning component, and awards ceremony. The program has rapidly expanded to also include mentoring affinity groups for women, men, first-generation students, transfer students, students with disabilities, students of color, and LGBTQIA+ students.

Of Interest: COSMIC’s community of affinity groups was intentionally designed to create an “ecosystem of support” for women, students of color, and others underrepresented in STEM.

A tutor for the Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) programs at Clemson University assists a fellow student.

Clemson University (CU) College of Science
Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)

Level: K-12 and Undergraduate
The numerous undergraduate support efforts provided by CU’s PEER and WISE programs include a peer mentorship program that pairs all incoming first-year students majoring in STEM with upperclassmen, a living and learning community for sophomore women pursuing science and engineering, and tailored tutoring and life coaching services. PEER and WISE also conduct outreach such as STEM education events for girls in K-12 and campus immersion experiences for prospective STEM students, and more.

Of Interest: The Women in Engineering ProActive Network, National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates, and more have honored PEER and WISE for their achievements in student recruitment and retention.

Students in the Future Urban STEM Educators Program at Davenport University College of Urban Education

Davenport University College of Urban Education (DU CoUE)
Future Urban STEM Educators (FUSE) Program

Level: Middle School, High School, and Undergraduate FUSE is designed to grow the pipeline of diverse STEM K-12 teachers in high-need school districts. The program attracts middle and high school students to STEM disciplines through after-school and summer FUSE
clubs and then recruits members to participate in dual enrollment programs that accelerate college completion and are paid for by school districts. It also recruits diverse students from community colleges, as well as other DU STEM students, and engages with professionals looking for a career change.

Of Interest: This year, the DU CoUE received a $1.19 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund internships, scholarships, and teacher certification costs for FUSE participants.

The campus of Eastern Washington University in Cheney

Eastern Washington University
College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (CSTEM)
CSTEM Dean’s Fellow for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Level: College Faculty
The objective of this fellowship is to identify specific areas of the college that need additional support toward diversity and inclusion. The fellowship has led to the creation of a plan to recruit more diverse faculty and increase the current faculty’s understanding of how to promote equity in STEM, among other initiatives.

Of Interest: The fellowship sponsors book studies, data sharing, and other activities aimed at improving the teaching and advising of underrepresented students in STEM programs.

A student learning assistant helps a fellow student at Florida International University.

Florida International University (FIU)
FIU STEM Transformation Institute

Level: K-12, Undergraduate, and Graduate
Institute researchers are redesigning STEM education to expand opportunities and improve outcomes for underrepresented groups in these disciplines and to create pathways for successful STEM careers. The institute’s wide- ranging efforts have extended from transforming lower division mathematics courses on campus to launching a national program that works with with high school teachers and guidance counselors to inspire young women to pursue physics degrees. FIU’s extensive work in this area has caught the attention of the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and more for its effectiveness and scalability.

Of Interest: The STEM Transformation Institute’s successes include increasing retention rates for STEM majors by implementing active learning classrooms, reducing textbook costs, allowing students to work on real-world problems, and more.

Fordham University’s Science and Technology Entry Program scholars dedicate their Saturdays during the school year and five weeks in the summer to refine their skills in STEM.

Fordham University Office of the Provost
Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP)

Level: Middle and High School
In operation since 1986, STEP aims to increase the number of historically underrepresented students pursuing post- secondary studies and careers in the STEM and health fields. The program accomplishes this by providing high-quality academic enrichment coursework in science, mathematics, and writing to middle and high schoolers. Students at Fordham University participate in the program by serving as mentors to help retain students and benefit them in their academic journey.

Of Interest: STEP serves 571 students annually, the majority of whom are first-generation or women.

Framingham State University

Framingham State University College of STEM
STEM Scholars

Level: Undergraduate
The STEM Scholars program was designed to help incoming undergraduate students whose SAT scores suggest that they may face challenges in STEM majors. The scholars, who primarily come from underrepresented and low-income backgrounds, progress throughout their undergraduate careers as a close-knit cohort and are assigned classes designed to build their academic skills. Students also receive support from advisers in their departments who have been trained on working with those who are facing academic challenges.

Of Interest: In the last four cohorts, on average, 63 percent of students identified as underrepresented, 57 percent were first-generation college students, and 62 percent were eligible for Pell Grants.

The Ventaja Panama, hosted by Georgia Southern University, provides hands-on STEM education to local K-12 students and teachers in Panama.

Georgia Southern University (GSU) College of Education
Ventaja Program

Level: Elementary School, Middle School, Undergraduate, and Educators
The Ventaja — meaning “advantage” in Spanish — Program is a summer camp at both GSU’s Statesboro campus and abroad in Panama. The program allows elementary and middle school students in Southeast Georgia to experience STEM education opportunities while also learning about STEM trailblazers of African descent or Latinx heritage. In addition, student-teachers pursuing education degrees at GSU are able to work with campers in the program or with English language learners at the Panama camp.

Of Interest: In addition to serving students, the Ventaja Program invites local teachers in Panama to take part in the camp to learn methodologies for place-based, hands-on curriculum that they can utilize in their classrooms.

Administrators from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and Fort Valley State University (FVSU). Pictured left to right: Paul Plotkowski, GVSU dean of engineering and computing; B. Donta Truss, GVSU vice president of Enrollment Development and Educational Outreach; Paul A. Jones, FVSU President; and
T. Ramon Stuart, the former FVSU provost

Grand Valley State University (GVSU)
Padnos College of Engineering and Computing Historically Black Colleges and Universities/ Hispanic- Serving Institutions (HBCU/HSI) Consortium

Level: Undergraduate and Graduate
The consortium offers dual undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students from member HBCUs and HSIs that expand STEM educational opportunities while minimizing the time to degree completion. Participating students begin their college career in the uniquely supportive environment of an HBCU or HSI while capitalizing on the more expansive offerings, extensive facilities, and industry partnerships of GVSU.

Of Interest: The HBCU/HSI Consortium offers students paid career immersion opportunities while allowing area employers to engage with a high-performing and diverse talent pipeline.

Student mentors lead team-building activities at Harvey Mudd College’s Summer Institute.

Harvey Mudd College Office of Institutional Diversity (HMC OID)
OID – Summer Institute

Level: Undergraduate
The Summer Institute’s mission is to help incoming STEM students with the college transition process, ultimately increasing their academic and personal success. Each Summer Institute scholar is paired with a mentor-and-mentee group that offers peer support throughout their first year and beyond. Students also participate in workshops, take part in academic and professional development activities, and engage in co-curricular activities. Throughout the program and into the academic year, the scholars have the chance to acquire cross-cultural competencies and develop their allyship, community building, and leadership skills.

Of Interest: Many campus leaders at HMC are former institute students, and virtually all past participants describe the experience as pivotal in their successful transition to college.

Members of the Groups Scholars Program STEM Initiative at Indiana University Bloomington attend the 2020 BEYA STEM Conference.

Indiana University Bloomington Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs
Groups Scholars Program STEM Initiative

Level: Undergraduate
The Groups Scholars Program STEM Initiative enhances the academic and professional experiences of first- generation, underrepresented students through research, structured mentoring, educational support, and professional development. The initiative includes a program connecting undergraduates with graduate mentors who give advice on study skills, leadership, work-life balance, and other essential topics. Another offering is the SPRING Career seminar, which investigates STEM careers through assignments, tours, and classroom visits from STEM professionals.

Of Interest: This initiative includes a student-driven branch known as the Groups STEM Student Organization, which develops programming for members to further develop their academic and professional skills and cultivates a campus environment in which peers support one another to succeed.

Members of the Kennesaw State University Mentoring Architecture Construction program, which provides peer mentoring and other services

Kennesaw State University (KSU)
College of Architecture and Construction Management
Mentoring Architecture Construction (MAC)

Level: Undergraduate
MAC is a student organization that provides peer mentorship to KSU College of Architecture and Construction Management students, especially women and those from underrepresented groups. The organization is designed to provide students with extra support from peer mentors who help guide them through the more difficult concepts that crop up in each field. The overarching goal is to encourage these individuals to pursue and stick with architecture and construction management degrees, ultimately reducing historically low rates of representation in the fields.

Of Interest: Students of color make up 61 percent of architecture students and 43 percent of construction management students at KSU. Additionally, 46 percent of architecture students are women, compared with 15 percent in the construction management program.

High schoolers in the Miami University Bridges Diversity Overnight Visit program participate in academic modules while connecting with faculty.

Miami University College of Arts and Science and College of Engineering and Computing
The Bridges Diversity Overnight Visit Program

Level: High School
Launched more than 50 years ago, this innovative program hosts more than 600 high-achieving high schoolers from diverse backgrounds as well as those who are committed
to promoting a deeper understanding of and appreciation for diversity. During four overnight sessions, participants are paired with current undergraduates who serve as hosts during college preparation activities, including many focused on STEM fields. Participants who go on to enroll in the university join the Bridges Scholars Program in which they receive success coaching specific to their field of study, which has been shown to be especially beneficial for those majoring in STEM.

Of Interest: Nearly 40 percent of program participants of color have gone on to enroll in the Miami University College of Engineering and Computing, compared with 9 percent of non-Bridge participants.

Girls in grades K-12 attend the annual TN Girls in STEM Conference hosted by the Middle Tennessee State University Women in STEM Center.

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)
College of Basic and Applied Sciences
Women in STEM Center (WISTEM)

Level: Middle School, High School, and Undergraduate WISTEM is home to several programs, scholarships, and internship opportunities. The center hosts the annual TN Girls in STEM conference, during which middle and high school students meet with role models and participate in hands-on workshops on everything from automotive engineering to neurosurgery. The conference is heavily linked to the center’s STEM Mentors program, which invites MTSU women STEM graduates to provide guidance to girls considering careers in these fields.

Of Interest: WISTEM features a living and learning community that enables members to form study groups, meet professional women and faculty in their discipline, and attend special lectures.

Old Dominion University (ODU)
College of Science and Darden College of Education and Professional Studies
The MonarchTeach Program

Undergraduate and Educators
This program at ODU recruits, trains, and prepares future STEM educators from diverse backgrounds, many of whom are recruited through summer orientation and local community colleges. It offers mentorships with local teachers and ODU faculty; paid summer internships with organizations such as NASA, the Virginia Zoo, and the Virginia Aquarium; and financial assistance for teaching licensure. Program alumni are supported during their first three years in the classroom with further professional development opportunities and mentorship from a MonarchTeach faculty member.

Of Interest: Each year, the MonarchTeach Student Organization plans a Youth Exploring Math and Science Day, an event that brings more than 100 middle school students to ODU’s campus for a day of science and math labs that may not be available at their home school.

Local students participate in a robot competition using robots they built as part of Santa Fe College’s Guitars, Rocketry, Robotics, Advanced Technological Education program. Photo courtesy Matt Stamey/Santa Fe College

Santa Fe College (SF)
Guitars, Rocketry, Robotics, Advanced Technological Education (GRRATE)

Level: Undergraduate
The GRRATE Project uses project-based learning and culturally responsive pedagogy to encourage students from underrepresented populations to engage in STEM degrees and career tracks. To recruit students from underserved demographics, courses are held at three rural and one urban specialized SF satellite centers, instead of at the main college campus. Through hands-on projects, participants learn the algebra of measurements, the technical skills of hand and power tools, the design of engineering, and the physics of sound and motion.

Of Interest: By the end of the course, students will have either built and launched several types of rockets; constructed, programmed, and battled robots and completed robot challenges; or designed and built their own guitar.

Members of Shepherd University’s Seeding Your Future Initiative create sculptures for a unique project that merges art with physics.

Shepherd University College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Seeding Your Future Initiative (SYFI)

Level: Middle and High School
SYFI seeks to address issues of inequity in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) career fields by sparking and maintaining the interest of young Appalachian learners, specifically those from marginalized communities and underrepresented groups. The initiative does so through two components: an annual conference for middle school-aged girls and a workshop series for high schoolers. The day-long conference provides positive role models, including a panel of successful women in STEAM- related professions and female workshop presenters, as well as hands-on laboratory experiences and STEAM workshops.

Of Interest: The SYFI workshop series is open to all high school-aged students to give extracurricular learning opportunities to a wider community and continue to allow young women the ability to pursue STEAM mentorship.

Zoranna Jones, PhD, director of the STEM Scholar Program (upper left), and student members display the traditional Texas Christian University Horned Frog sign to show school pride.

Texas Christian University (TCU)
College of Science and Engineering
STEM Scholar Program

Level: Undergraduate
This program covers the full cost of attendance at TCU for four years, provides academic support, and enriches the university learning experience for high-achieving underrepresented students majoring in STEM. Incoming members complete a summer enrichment program that includes on-campus employment so that they can earn money in preparation for the academic year and learn the value of time management. The program also supplies students with opportunities for undergraduate research, educational travel funds, and various study abroad options.

Of Interest: The STEM Scholar Program has a career consultant who works specifically with students in providing resources to aid them with career exploration, internships, job placement, and more.

Texas Tech University (TTU)
STEM Center for Outreach, Research, and Education
CORE STEMinar Series: Global Diversity in STEM

Level: Undergraduate, Graduate, and Faculty
This series provides TTU faculty with the opportunity to engage in professional development that guides their understanding of concepts not usually discussed in STEM disciplines, including topics related to diversity. The seminars focus on engaging with students from diverse cultures and backgrounds as well those with disabilities. It has also served underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students through several targeted seminars and conversations with speakers.

Of Interest: Specific topics have included promoting anti-racism in STEM, supporting Deaf and hard of hearing students, and confronting imposter syndrome.

Arizona’s Science, Engineering, and Math Scholars, or ASEMS, program Advisory Board for the 2020-2021 academic year

University of Arizona Colleges of Science and Engineering
Arizona’s Science, Engineering, and Math Scholars Program (ASEMS)

Level: Undergraduate
ASEMS supports women and underrepresented students to persist in STEM degree programs by offering a range of academic, research, and career readiness services. In the first two years of the program, students build a strong foundation in gateway STEM courses with the assistance of mentors and tutors who recognize the importance of meeting students at their current academic point of development, understanding their unique circumstances, validating their cultural backgrounds, and more. By junior year, most ASEMS scholars remain in STEM and engage in research, internships, field work, and clinical work that prepares them for STEM careers.

Of Interest: ASEMS students take three unique career readiness courses: Success in STEM, Professionalism in STEM, and Research Readiness.

Graduates of the Office of Inclusive Excellence & Community Engagement program at University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati
College of Engineering and Applied Science
Office of Inclusive Excellence & Community Engagement (IECE) Program

Level: Undergraduate
IECE works to increase the number of underrepresented students in engineering by offering initiatives, services, and scholarships that enhance learning and lead to their success. These initiatives include a residential summer bridge program that develops college readiness for incoming first- year students, success coaching to support financial literacy, and a multicultural student society that provides a safe space for networking and professional development.

Of Interest: In its 33-year history, IECE has assisted more than 1,000 underrepresented students in engineering. On average, participants are retained at a 10 percent higher rate.

University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL)
College of Arts and Sciences
Collaborative Laboratory and Mentoring Blueprint Program (CLIMB)

Level: High School
CLIMB offers high school juniors and seniors from nearby underserved districts paid summer internships and six weeks of collegiate research experience alongside UMSL professors and undergraduate researchers. Participants work 40 hours per week conducting research in specialty areas such as chemistry, biology, or computer science as well as completing activities for pre-college and career development. CLIMB interns receive $12 per hour, Metro passes to cover transportation costs, and campus dining dollars so that they may participate in the program in lieu of a summer job.

Of Interest: Nearly 90 percent of CLIMB students have gone on to study in a STEM field since the program was launched in 2015.

Members of the National Research Mentoring Network-Resource Center, or NRMN-RC, at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Pictured from left to right are Gabrielle Saleh, digital communication strategist; Damaris Javier, associate director; Katie Stinson, virtual engagement strategist; and Dr. Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, principal investigator

University of North Texas Health Science Center
National Research Mentoring Network-Resource Center (NRMN-RC)

Level: Undergraduate, Graduate, Faculty, and Postdoctoral
NRMN-RC is an online program that offers culturally responsive mentoring, professional development, and networking to STEM students, postdoctoral and professional researchers, faculty, and administrators. In addition to networking opportunities and a guided virtual mentorship, members also have access to courses and career development webinars that include deep dives into grant writing, tips on applying to graduate school, and mentor and mentee training.

Of Interest: The program currently has a network of more than 19,000 diverse members across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

The 2020 cohort of the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity (CPPFD)

Level: Graduate and Postdoctoral
Since its inception in 1984, CPPFD has aimed to bolster staff diversity in the STEM disciplines by helping underrepresented PhD students obtain tenure-track faculty positions. Working in tandem with professional organizations dedicated to broadening participation of underrepresented students, the program offers “postdoc boot camps” at key national conferences to provide mentorship, guidance, and support as students prepare for the next stage of their careers. Each session includes information about the application process, how to secure recommendations, postdoctoral career planning tips, and advice on how students can get the mentoring they need to succeed.

Of Interest: The program’s alumni include a college president, vice chancellor, vice provost, career award recipients, and many distinguished deans and faculty across the country. On the university’s campus, the program has produced more than 65 faculty hires, including 23 from STEM disciplines.

A student in the Leading Emerging and Diverse Scholars to Success — or LEADS — program presents their research in a poster display. LEADS is hosted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Institute for Clinical Research Education.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Institute for Clinical Research Education
Leading Emerging and Diverse Scholars to Success (LEADS)

Level: Postdoctoral and Faculty

LEADS aims to launch research careers for postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty at Minority-Serving Institutions by supporting them in submitting successful grants and aiding in the development of their research. The program consists of three unique supports: online modules, career coaching, and travel awards. LEADS has also developed several initiatives that help with specific aspects of faculty development, including opportunities for formal research presentations to facilitate networking and collaboration, increased structure and accountability for those working to complete grant applications, and more.

Of Interest: In the last five years, LEADS has trained 70 diverse scholars from 12 institutions; these scholars have published a total of 132 articles and secured 46 grants.

Students learn about climate change through a hands-on experiment with red cabbage juice and dry ice during a Joint Educational Project STEM Education program hosted by the University of Southern California. Photo courtesy Dr. Dieuwertje Kast

University of Southern California
Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Joint Educational Project’s (JEP) STEM Education Programs

Level: Elementary School
JEP programs serve nearly 3,000 elementary students annually through multiple inquiry-based, hands-on educational outreach initiatives. These include the Young Scientists and Medical STEM Programs, which provide free instructional materials, to classrooms and the Wonderkids afterschool program that offers activities to seven Los Angeles Unified School District public schools.

Of Interest: Each participant is asked to draw a scientist at the beginning and end of the year. In 2015, 90 percent of the drawings were White men. According to recent data, 37 percent of students now draw White women, 10 percent draw students of color, and 9 percent draw themselves.

University of Wisconsin – Platteville
Women in STEM Program

Level: Middle School, High School, Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postdoctoral
For more than 30 years, this program has offered community support for girls and women ranging from middle school students to working professionals. It hosts a gamut of activities and events, including an all-girls coding club, a career day for high schoolers, a peer and professional mentorship program, leadership certificate program, and much more. On-campus offerings include the Women in STEM Living Learning Community for female-identifying students majoring in a STEM discipline and the annual Women in STEM banquet to honor student achievements.

Of Interest: More than 650 girls participate in the annual outreach program. As a result of the program’s success, the university has achieved a 95 percent first-to-second-year retention rate for women engineers on campus.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute STEM Faculty Launch Program prepares scholars for next steps in their careers.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
School of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering STEM Faculty Launch

Level: Graduate and Postdoctoral
This program has proven successful in preparing graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to transition into faculty roles. It consists of a two-day workshop held at WPI for attendees from across the U.S. and is specifically geared for women and others underrepresented in STEM academic careers. The workshop teaches such skills as negotiating contracts, understanding selection process criteria, and more.

Of Interest: Past program participants include scholars from Georgia Tech University, Harvard University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among others. WPI covers all travel as well as room and board for attendees.

This article was published in our September 2021 issue.