UAlbany Working to Expand Diversity in STEM Fields
Science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics--also known as STEM fields--are transforming our economy and job market.The University at Albany is at the forefront
of preparing the next generation of STEM leaders with two new initiatives
specifically designed to encourage students from underrepresented populations
to studies in these fields.
The Bridge to the Doctorate program was
recently launched at UAlbany to expand participation in STEM fields and prepare
participants to pursue graduate studies and leadership roles.The program, supported by a $987,000 National
Science Foundation (NSF) grant, will provide fellowships to qualified students
from populations underrepresented in STEM studies, removing the financial
barriers that prevent many of these students from pursuing graduate study. It
will also provide academic and research support services for students. The
Bridge to the Doctorate program is part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for
Minority Participation program at NSF.
"This grant will strengthen our
efforts to build a diverse community of scholars in STEMgraduate programs at
the University," said Kevin Williams, UAlbany Vice Provost for Graduate Education and principal investigator on the
program. "It will also allow UAlbany to recruit highly talented students and
provide intensive mentoring and professional development as they pursue their
In addition, the College of Computing & Information (CCI) has recently been chosen to
serve as the convening organization for the New York affiliate of the National
Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP). This is an organization working to promote
inter-organizational collaboration to inform and encourage girls to pursue STEM
"Many programs that serve girls in STEM
are limited in service and impact due to size, location, funding, expertise and
equipment, while others compete for the same resources and duplicate services,"
said Jennifer Goodall, assistant dean of CCI's Department of Informatics. "The NGCP strives to collaborate with
STEM programs to increase their organizational capacity to maintain both the
interest and participation of girls. The project will also address
out-of-school time about effective engagement and outreach strategies for
underrepresented girls in STEM."
NGCP's New York affiliate, titled New York Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (NYSTEAM) Girls Collaborative, will host a variety of free or
low-cost professional development opportunities for relevant organizations,
educators, and business professionals in the area. The model is structured to
bring organizations together to compare needs and resources, share information,
and to plan strategically to expand STEM-related opportunities for girls.
The University at Albany has a long
history of fostering student success in the STEM fields. The University's Center for Achievement, Retention and Student Success (CARSS), founded in 2008, operates a
federally funded program designed to enhance recruitment and retention of
students with science and mathematics majors through academic support services,
mentoring, and tutoring.The Science and
Technology Entry Program (STEP) and the College Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) introduces underrepresented and economically
disadvantaged youth grades 7-12 and undergraduate students to careers and advanced studies in STEM fields. Additionally,
the Women in Technology program at CCI supports and empowers female faculty and
students as well as encourages girls in middle school and high school to pursue
undergraduate and graduate studies in STEM fields.The College Database, an online directory of
US colleges, also recently cited the University as one of the nation's top 50
Colleges Advancing Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.