TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama hosted a workshop aimed to help administrators, staff and professors share and discover ways to engage students, particularly minority women, interested in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields.
“While there is a considerable amount of extant knowledge on women in STEM, there continues to be insufficient research and knowledge on what needs to be done to sustain the engagement, motivation and efficacy of women of color in STEM,” said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA executive vice president and provost. “There continues to be a need to focus attention to the unique and dynamic experiences that women of color encounter while trying to navigate STEM education spaces.”
The STEM Workshop and Forum, held March 31, is part of UA’s efforts within the National Academic STEM Collaborative. The consortium of 19 institutions of higher education and nonprofit partners are committed to identify and scale effective, evidence-based strategies to improve STEM diversity in the nation’s colleges and universities with a special focus on women and girls of color from under-represented communities.
UA is a founding member of the National Academic STEM Collaborative, led by Arizona State University’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology.
The workshop and forum allowed UA professors to network with peers at other intuitions in the southeastern region and to gain insights on best practices and approaches from the institutions. Participants also shared knowledge on research relevant to the experiences students need to sustain their engagement, motivation and efficacy from Kl2 to STEM careers.
Dr. Patricia Sobecky, UA associate provost for academic affairs, and Dr. Kimberly Scott, professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State and director of ASU’S Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology, hosted the workshop and forum.
Sobecky leads the UA STEM Forward Initiative, a university-wide collective impact effort aimed at broadening the participation of the individuals from groups traditionally underserved or underrepresented in STEM disciplines.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.