NIMBioS and UT have partnered to create a new organization on campus — the STEM Alliance — which aims to improve the success of students with disabilities in the STEM disciplines.
The STEM Alliance is part of the South East Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in STEM (SEAPD-STEM) program, a network of education institutions in the southeastern US and Washington, DC with a goal to significantly advance a collaborative approach to improve the success of students with disabilities in the STEM disciplines.
The UT-NIMBioS STEM Alliance provides scholarship funds to its students and also holds regular meetings throughout the semester on professional development topics, such as careers, resume writing, mentorship, graduate schools and internships. The group also holds informal gatherings to share ideas and provide support. New students are accepted each semester.
The goals of SEAPD-STEM are:
- Increase the quality and quantity of persons with disabilities completing associate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees in STEM disciplines and entering the STEM workforce, especially among minorities, veterans, and women.
- Increase the quality and quantity of post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty with disabilities in STEM fields.
- Improve academic performance of students with disabilities in secondary level science and mathematics courses.
- Enhance communication and collaboration among post-secondary institutions, industry, government, national labs, and community in addressing the education of students with disabilities in STEM discipline.
- Assess our activities to understand what works to support the matriculation and retention of STEM students with disabilities in science followed by broad dissemination through workshops, conference presentations, webinars, and peer-reviewed publications.
SEAPD-STEM is funded by the National Science Foundation’s INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) program, a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discoveries and innovations focused on NSF’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields.
SEAPD-STEM builds on the success of the Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM (AASD-STEM), an NSF-funded collaboration between Auburn University, Auburn University Montgomery, Alabama State University, Tuskegee University, and Southern Union State Community College. Over the past seven years, AASD-STEM has provided academic and social support for over 200 students with disabilities in STEM majors through peer and faculty mentoring, research internships, group meetings, annual conferences, and student support organizations. SEAPD-STEM increases the reach of AASD-STEM by adding an additional 16 institutions to the program, for a total of 21 participating colleges and universities in six states and Washington, D.C.
Since it was established in 2008, NIMBioS has been a leader in promoting diversity in all its activities. Diversity is considered in all its aspects, social and scientific, including gender, ethnicity, scientific field, career stage, geography and type of home institution. You can learn more about NIMBioS diversity programs and initiatives at its STEM Diversity Enhancement web page at http://www.nimbios.org/education/diversity
For more information about the UT-NIMBioS program and how to apply, visit the web page at http://www.nimbios.org/education/stem