Nebraska recognized for fostering diversity, inclusion in STEM fields

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Nebraska recognized for fostering diversity, inclusion in STEM fields

The cupola of Love Library overlooks Lincoln
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is featured among the nation’s best at helping diversify the science, technology, engineering and mathematics workforce.

Announced Oct. 11, STEM Workforce Diversity Magazine ranked Nebraska U among its top 20 universities for fostering diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.

“Our inclusion in this list is a good indicator that our university is making progress in areas of student diversity, equity and inclusion and a testament to how our faculty and staff support students,” said Marco Barker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion. “It is also a reminder of why we must continue to prioritize inclusive excellence and diversity across the institution and our outreach, and among our faculty and staff ranks.”

As reflected in its N2025 strategic plan, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has a long-standing dedication to expanding diversity and inclusion across all disciplines. Those efforts include being among the first 20 higher education institutions to join Aspire Alliance, a national program dedicated to enhancing STEM faculty recruitment, hiring and retention practices. The Aspire Alliance is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Through the alliance, the university has completed a self-assessment of current practices and assets and will develop a campus action plan for STEM programs campuswide. Learn more about the work.

Other university programs/projects helping advance diversity and inclusion in STEM areas include:

  • Nebraska TRIO Programs, a federally-funded outreach effort that offers academic, social, cultural and financial support to first-generation college students and under-served scholars.

  • The STEM-POWER Research Program recently received a five-year, $999,125 award from the National Science Foundation. The program is designed to help STEM students from underrepresented backgrounds succeed academically, professionally and personally through the first two years of college. The project is led by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Kristi Montooth, Marianna Burks and Patricia Wonch Hill.

  • Offering a MANRRS chapter in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences is part of a national society that promotes ethnic minorities in agricultural sciences and related fields.

  • National Society of Black Engineers, a long-time undergraduate program in the College of Engineering. The society offers members the tools needed to succeed in engineering disciplines, while also supporting recruitment efforts.

  • A collaborative research team from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering is leading a 22-institution collaboration aimed at smoothing STEM students’ transition from two-year colleges to four-year institutions. The five-year, $3 million project is funded by the National Science Foundation. The research team includes Leen-Kiat Soh, Wendy Smith, Mindi Searls and Brittany Duncan.

  • Organizing and hosting the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics by the College of Arts and Sciences. Now in its 25th year, the conference is designed as a way to connect with and mentor undergraduate women to pursue graduate study in mathematics and to seek careers in the field. The next conference is Jan. 20-22.

  • NCLUDE, a universitywide program dedicated to understanding and exploring diversity issues. The group — Nebraska Community of Learners: Understanding Diversity through Education — is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community. The group gathers to candidly discuss inclusive excellence and how it can be integrated in everyday interactions.

STEM Workforce Diversity Magazine was founded in 1994 and is the first magazine published for published for the professional, diversified high-tech workforce. Its top 20 list is compiled through an annual reader survey mailed to randomly selected readers of the publication. Some 2,000 readers participated in the survey.

Respondents were asked to name the top universities they believe offer a diversified curriculum, student base, faculty and staff, and foster a diverse and inclusive learning environment in STEM areas.

Learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

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