Evidence of a shift in U.S. demographics and importance of minorities took center stage during the Presidential election, but how do those growing toward majority acquire representation in our educational and technological communities?
Accelerating programs that mentor and move minorities forward to majorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is one method that is gaining traction, said Castillo-Chavez, one of a trio of Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (PAESMEM) Mentors speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston.
Castillo-Chavez, whose own path to professorship is remarkable, will share concrete strategies to increase interest and engagement in STEM, along with co-presenters Chrysanthe Demetry, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Jean T. MacCormack, University of California.
While there is an overriding belief that promoting underrepresented groups cannot be addressed without long-term changes in the K-12 school system, according to Castillo-Chavez there are successful models being used now which show that mentoring changes lives particularly when undertaken at a scale offered by one of the largest public universities in the nation.
"Scientists have the responsibility to see that the American Dream is not just a theoretical construct but an achievable goal," said Castillo-Chavez. "We can't continue to waste immense talent because their limited access to higher education. This panel does not argue on the need of change, but on how we can achieve it, university by university."
Chavez-Castillo is the executive director of the award-winning Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) and The Institute for Strengthening the Understanding of Mathematics and Science or SUMS, research units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The MTBI is one example of how colleges and univer
|Contact: Margaret Coulombe|
Arizona State University