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Thursday, December 14, 2017

The National Science Foundation has awarded Northeastern Illinois University a $100,000 grant to help the institution organize and host a two-day regional conference on enhancing undergraduate STEM education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

The project is titled “Catalyzing Progress in Undergraduate STEM Education with Insights from Midwestern HSIs,” and the resulting conference will explore STEM education and pedagogy and will identify issues related to STEM and HSI identity. The conference will take place May 3-4, 2018, at El Centro.

Invitations to the conference will be extended to regional HSIs, tribal colleges and universities, and predominantly black institutions, all of which are minority-serving institutions whose students face common challenges.

“The goal of this project is to benefit society by increasing diversity among the STEM-educated graduates joining the workforce,” said Earth Science Professor Laura Sanders, who is the principal investigator for the project.

Sanders is joined in the effort by co-principal investigators Pamela Geddes (Biology), Joseph Hibdon (Mathematics), Graciela Perera (Computer Science) and Sudha Srinivas (Physics and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences).

“Northeastern is the natural leader for this effort because of its strong history of promoting innovative, effective STEM pedagogy,” Sanders said. “With our multidisciplinary team, we will strengthen connections with other institutions across all the STEM fields.”