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Inclusive Excellence and STEM
Under the leadership of Dr. Wanda Mitchell, UNH’s Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence, the University of New Hampshire is working closely with the NH Council of Universities and Colleges and NH Campus Compact to develop a Statewide Inclusive Excellence Plan. The initiative arose from a statewide summit entitled, “Making Excellence Inclusive: Building Engaged Communities throughout New Hampshire,” in April 2010.
Integral to the Inclusive Excellence initiative is broadening participation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across the state of New Hampshire and especially in communities where there are large diverse populations or communities that are under-served and under-resourced. The initiative, directed by an advisory board, aims to enhance the state’s capacity by developing a talented, robust and eclectic STEM oriented workforce, capable of performing, adapting and thriving in a dynamic knowledge-driven economy.
New Hampshire Statewide STEM Meeting Planning Committee:
Dr. Larissa Baia
Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
Manchester Community College
Dr. Kevin Gardner
Associate State Director, NH EPSCoR
University of New Hampshire
Director of the Latino Initiative
New Hampshire College and University Council
Dr. Wanda S. Mitchell
Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence
University of New Hampshire
Campus Compact of New Hampshire
Dr. Trinidad Tellez
Director, Office of Minority Health & Refugee Affairs
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
The Advisory Board hosted “Broadening Community Participation in STEM,” a day-long meeting in Bedford on June 17, 2011 sponsored by NH EPSCoR. Participants discussed how to develop new opportunities for underrepresented and underserved groups (minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and geographically disadvantaged) in STEM educational programs and careers.
Opening remarks were delivered by Wanda Mitchell, Co-Chair of the NH Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board, and Paul LeBlanc, Chair of the NH College and University Council and President of Southern New Hampshire University. Ken Johnson, professor of Sociology and Senior Demographer at the Carsey Institute, UNH, presented demographic trends. These trends show the population of New Hampshire grew by 6.5% between 2000 and 2010, the largest in the Northeast although modest compared to population gains elsewhere in the U.S. There was considerable spatial variation in the rate of population increase. New Hampshire’s minority population grew at a significantly faster rate than its non-Hispanic white population. The largest minority gains occurred among those under 18, demonstrating that young people are in the vanguard of diversity in New Hampshire, as elsewhere in the U.S. Muriel Poston, Dean of Faculty of Skidmore College and Chair of the NSF Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) Advisory Board provided the keynote address. She defined the role of NSF in responding to national STEM educational challenges and outlined a call for statewide action for transforming STEM education policy and practice including future directions for collaboration, innovation, and inclusiveness. She defined ways we can enhance our capacities to develop a talented, robust and eclectic STEM-oriented workforce, capable of performing, adapting and thriving in a dynamic, knowledge-driven economy. A panel response to: “What does Inclusive Excellence mean for New Hampshire Campuses and Communities” included Susan Huard, president of Manchester Community College; John MacDonald, vice president of generation for Public Service Company of New Hampshire, and Trinidad Tellez, director of the Office of Minority Health and Refugee Affairs of the state Department of Health and Human Services. Henry Blount, Office Head for NSF EPSCoR, addressed the group over a networking luncheon. He discussed the history of EPSCoR, the multi-faceted program opportunities, the purpose, where it is today, jurisdictions participating and the program’s strategic objectives. “Workshops such as this play an important role as community catalysts”, he said.
The afternoon session was used to review and discuss the New Hampshire Statewide Inclusive Excellence Strategic Action Guide developed by the NH Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board. Working in smaller groups, participants explored actions that advance inclusion throughout each institution and within New Hampshire communities. The groups also explored potential actions to enhance New Hampshire’s capacity to develop a talented STEM oriented workforce. This provided an opportunity for the attendees to engage and initiate dialogue across the multiple perspectives represented, shape possibilities for enabling action, and set a course for sustainable success.