In an effort to increase the diversity of engineering faculty, the National Science Foundation awarded $2.9 Million to the following leading national engineering diversity organizations: Great Minds in STEM (GMiS), American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), MAES: Latinos in Science and Engineering , National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), SACNAS: Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). This collaborative research project, titled ASSIST: Strengthening Engineering Faculty through Diversity Serving Professional Organization Engagement, is a historic first step toward long-term collaboration between the organizations. The establishment of this collaborative infrastructure between these organizations will result in the design, implementation and evaluation of a model for effectively increasing the number of underrepresented engineering faculty across all institutional types.
The lack of diversity in the engineering is well documented. According to data collected by the American Society for Engineering Education, the percentage of Hispanic tenure track faculty actually declined from 2012 to 2013, from 3.9 percent to 3.6 percent. During that same period, the number of African American faculty also declined from 2.7 percent to 2.6 percent.1
“Over the next four years, ASSIST will establish a network of diverse early-career faculty, and will empower their success in securing their futures as valuable contributors to the engineering professoriate,” states Anna Park, CEO and Board Member of Great Minds in STEM and PI on this grant.
The grant will support traditionally underrepresented engineering early-career faculty, post-doctoral professionals, and doctoral students interested in academic careers, with travel awards so they can attend professional development programming. Each organization, at their respective national conferences, will host subject matter experts, focused on cultural identity, promotion and tenure, funding, and student engagement/learning. Offering these workshops at each organization’s national conference provides opportunities for these participants to engage with STEM professional in corporate America, government, national laboratories as well as colleagues from other institutions, allowing them to share and learn together, and prepare them to become successful engineering faculty.
“SWE is excited to be able to provide the grant so eligible attendees can participate as well as the opportunity to build a much more comprehensive academic program,” states Peter Finn, Deputy Director, Chief Learning Officer of Society of Women Engineers.
The joint efforts will create a critical mass of engaged, diverse scholars who can innovate ideas for increasing interest in doctoral education. It is a means to highlight the presence of underrepresented scholars strategically in a venue with a built-in audience of emerging underrepresented engineers. The presence of faculty, post-doctoral students, and doctoral students at these national diversity conferences will also greatly benefit undergraduate and pre-college students who attend these same conferences by having an opportunity to interact with these role models.
About American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) (http://www.aises.org/)
AISES is a national, Native American nonprofit whose mission is to substantially increase the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, First Nations and other indigenous peoples of North America in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers. Founded in 1977, with a rapidly expanding membership of more than 4,000 individual members, AISES sustains 189 chartered college and university chapters, 15 professional chapters, and 158 affiliated K-12 schools supporting over 55,000 American Indian students. AISES has awarded over $10.3 million in academic scholarships to over 5,000 American Indian STEM students. Through scholarships and internships, workforce development and career resources, national and regional conferences, science fairs, leadership development and other STEM focused programming, AISES is the leader in STEM opportunity for American Indians. Through the quality and reach of its pre-college, college, and professional opportunities and the longevity and devoted commitment of its “family,” AISES is the undisputed leader in STEM opportunity in Indian Country. Members from over 200 tribal nations are represented within AISES, and AISES enjoys the support and partnership of corporate, government, academic, and tribal decision-makers.
About Great Minds in STEM™ (GMiS) (http://www.greatmindsinstem.org/)
For 28 years, GMiS, a 501c3 educational non-membership, non-profit, has worked towards its vision to be a national leader in keeping America technologically strong by promoting STEM careers, especially in underserved communities. With support from a substantial core of STEM-based supporters, GMiS continues its history of creating a national STEM awareness campaign and supplementing the academic and career development of underserved and underrepresented students and professionals. Through a series of year-round integrated opportunities, GMiS’ Kindergarten-to-Career programs have defined outcomes and objectives designed to build a culture of lifelong learning, focus on stimulating interest in STEM careers, promote a culture of diversity and inclusion, and develop current and future leaders. The most notable of these offerings is the HENAAC Conference which is GMiS’ legacy in honoring and recognizing top-technical Hispanic STEM talent.
About MAES, Latinos in Science and Engineering (MAES) (http://mymaes.org/)
MAES is the foremost Latino organization for the development of STEM leaders in the academic, executive, and technical communities. The organization’s mission is to promote, cultivate, and honor excellence in education and leadership among Latino engineers and scientists. MAES was founded in Los Angeles in 1974 to increase the number of Mexican Americans and other Hispanics in technical and scientific fields. MAES offers outreach, student, professional, and event programs.
About National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) (http://www.nsbe.org/)
With more than 31,000 members, NSBE is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States. Founded in 1975, NSBE now includes more than 394 chapters for college students, pre-college students and technical professionals in the U.S. and abroad. The organization’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.” NSBE is supported by private sector, government, academic and nonprofit organizations, and provides resources to support students, parents, professionals and educators in engineering and other STEM fields.
About Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) (http://sacnas.org/)
SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists – from college students to professionals – to attain degrees, careers, and positions of leadership. SACNAS is the largest National multidisciplinary scientific society serving over 25,000 minority students and professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical (STEM) fields. SACNAS achieves mission impact through outcome-based year round programming and initiatives.
About Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) (http://national.shpe.org/)
SHPE changes lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support and development. SHPE was founded in Los Angeles, CA, in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community. The organization serves over 10,000 members and over 250 chapters across the nation.
About Society of Women Engineers (SWE) (http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/)
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. The not-for-profit educational and service organization is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. To ensure SWE members reach their full potential as engineers and leaders, the Society offers unique opportunities to network, provides professional development, shapes public policy and provides recognition for the life-changing contributions and achievements of women engineers. As a champion of diversity, SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in their personal and professional lives. For more information about the Society, please visit www.swe.org or call 312.596.5223.