May 30, 2024


It's Your Education

FIU recognized on countrywide platform for advancing diversity in STEM | FIU Information

Work opportunities in science, technological know-how, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are some of the speediest-increasing in the workforce. But minorities this sort of as Blacks and Hispanics are often underrepresented in these careers at a nationwide level.

According to the Pew Investigation Center, Blacks depict 9 p.c of STEM staff in the U.S. and Hispanics  stand for 16 per cent.

As a minority-serving establishment (MSI), FIU began a sequence of concerted endeavours to redesign and redefine its method to STEM training several yrs ago. The goal was to make guaranteed that its students would truly understand the product and access these fields as pros.

The end result? FIU – the premier producer of STEM degrees for Hispanics in the United States – has recognized by itself as a leading MSI operating to advance variety in STEM. In point, the college was just lately acknowledged through a virtual town hall through the prestigious Countrywide Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) for its work in this location. For the duration of the celebration, FIU college, administrators and college students led conversations about STEM education with colleagues across the region.

“We are a college that is really very pleased of the truth that a good deal of our students appear from ideal below from the 305,” claimed President Mark B. Rosenberg, who has been at the forefront of the discussion about STEM and has served on national academies and committees focused on STEM training for decades.  

“These times with COVID-19, there is no doubt that STEM literacy is likely to be necessary for liable 21st Century citizens engaging in resolving community and countrywide complications,” Rosenberg said. “[We’d like for you] to use the hope that might be engendered by means of these discussions to empower you to do far more and be more impactful. If we can have that tiny contribution with you then we will be really, pretty happy.”

The event was part of a series of town halls NASEM is conducting in collaboration with MSIs across the state to boost how MSIs can fortify the STEM workforce and to understand how these establishments are doing work to advance STEM workforce preparing, schooling and exploration ability.

FIU’s digital event highlighted speakers which include FIU STEM Transformation Institute director Laird Kramer Senior Vice President for Tutorial and Pupil Affairs Elizabeth Bejar Provost and Government Vice President Kenneth G. Furton and a number of professors and Panthers striving to supply the greatest training for learners.


A panel of alumni and pupils in STEM spoke all through the city corridor. Top rated row: Alumna Ariana Bueno and panel moderator Rocio Benabentos, associate director of the STEM Transformation Institute. Base row: Alumnus Kieron Thomas and Ingrid Lopez, biology and instruction significant.


School members of academies

The celebration furthered FIU’s engagement with NASEM. FIU college are already amid the associates of two of the three academies that make up NASEM. 

Joseph P. Colaco, a senior scholar at the University of Engineering and Computing (CEC) Lawrence G. Griffis, a professor of observe of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Mehdi Hatamian, distinguished college professor at the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering are all members of the Countrywide Academy of Engineering

Members of the Nationwide Academy of Medication are: Hortensia de los Angeles Amaro, distinguished college professor in the Robert Stempel University of Community Health & Social Work Dorothy Brooten, tenured professor at the Nicole Wertheim University of Nursing & Overall health Sciences Joe Leigh Simpson, professor at the Herbert Wertheim University of Drugs and William A. Vega, distinguished professor of community wellbeing at the Place of work of Study and Economic Improvement. 

Making connections

This form of occasion – and collaboration with NASEM – furthers the mission of one more regional STEM-similar coalition, which Rosenberg begun in 2012 and continues to chair: Existence Sciences South Florida (LSSF). LSSF is a person of the university’s crucial group partnerships managed out of FIU’s Office environment of Engagement.

The coalition’s target is to maximize trade amongst leading academic, financial improvement and study establishments to make connections among the the 12 schools and universities in the tri-county place and to encourage learners to contribute to the advancement of the life sciences sector.

Florida is a single of the locations exactly where the life sciences sector – made up of tech, biomedical and other very similar organizations – is increasing the swiftest.

“We require to make positive we are being intentional, that our pupils see themselves in STEM and that we foster STEM specialists,” explained Jenesis Ramirez, application manager at the Office environment of Engagement. Ramirez cast the connection between NASEM and FIU that led to the academies’ invitation for the university to share investigation on STEM education and learning.

Caryn Lavernia, assistant vice president of the Workplace of Engagement, mentioned sharing these insights with the national community is a obligation.

“What we have experimented with to present is what FIU is accomplishing, mainly because it’s a moral imperative,” she stated. “For the city corridor, all the speakers showcased info about their study and educating tactics. These are all programs that operate. Our school are generating an influence.”

Transforming STEM education and learning

So, what makes FIU’s endeavours in STEM instruction stand out? Through the STEM Transformation Institute, housed in the School of Arts, Sciences & Education, Kramer and his crew have ushered in a new period of instructing in these disciplines at FIU.

“We use research as a driving force for what we’re accomplishing in the classroom,” he mentioned. “Education is how we all acquired to in which we are. It is the empowering system that tends to make all occupations attainable. This is a concrete way to make a variation in the life of these we care deeply about.”

Just one teaching technique revolves all-around reformatting class so college students get the job done on arms-on, sensible exercise routines throughout class time when they can inquire questions.  

An additional essential system: Incorporating peer Discovering Assistants (LAs) in class. These LAs have taken the same course on their own and offer support for college students presently taking the course. This is particularly significant for minorities who can see by themselves in these peers, and can discover part models in them.

“Talking to a peer mentor is…about talking to anyone that has long gone by what you went by way of,” stated Ingrid Lopez, who has been a peer mentor for many semesters. “The LA relationship bridges the hole among professor-university student interactions.”

She extra that she feels grateful to be element of a crew serving to students succeed.

“Honestly, attending FIU is the ideal selection I could’ve created,” she mentioned. “The point that they are generally putting forth initiatives and concentrating on subjects like minorities in STEM…I’m lucky.”

The FIU STEM Transformation Institute also a short while ago obtained a 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from Perception Into Range magazine for its operate assisting learners from underrepresented groups enter STEM fields.

Learn more about the STEM Transformation Institute and the LA software.