Building Community for Student Success in STEM

The IINSPIRE Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation held its 2013-14 Annual Conference: Building Community for Student Success in STEM on November 8, 2013 at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa.

The IINSPIRE Annual Conference featured invited speakers and concurrent programs of interest to both students and professionals. Students, faculty and staff from alliance members and collaborators were encouraged to attend. During the event, conference attendees were encouraged to tweet questions and comments at the IINSPIRE LSAMP conference twitter page #IINSPIRE2013.

Schedule and Program Book

Keynote Address & Speaker

The keynote address, Building Global Academic Opportunities for Multicultural Students in the ASTEM Areas, was given by Dr. Aurelio Curbelo (Iowa State University).  His presentation informed the audience about the current demographic changes in the United States, future academic opportunities, and the importance of encouraging future leaders to participate at a global level. The presentation will highlight the academic opportunities available for multicultural students in higher education in the areas of agriculture, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Dr. Curbelo also provided his professional advice on how to prepare multicultural students with scientific, leadership, and global experiences.

Dr. Aurelio Curbelo is the Director of the Multicultural Programs Office in the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Iowa State University. For over 10 years Mr. Curbelo has been promoting diversity, facilitating academic opportunities, and providing research experiences to underrepresented students in the areas of agriculture, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (ASTEM).  His education at Iowa State University includes a bachelor and master’s degrees in Agricultural Education and Studies and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. 

Conference Sessions

Pedagogy Workshop on Community Building
Creating a supportive community is critically important for the success of all students. Having sense of belonging and identifying as part of the science community contributes to persistence. Members of groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM are likely to be more sensitive to the presence or lack of such community as they typically lack other role models and experience discouragement more frequently than other students. This workshop explored models of enhancing such community and engaged participants in discussions of ways in which they might explicitly and implicitly improve the sense of community on their campus (and beyond).

Career Development Workshop
During this session students explored strategies and actions to build social capital for their career development. Students examined peer to peer and student to professional social capital.

Community Building and Recruitment through Social Media
This session presented literature that is driving the use of social media in higher education and research based practices which create a college community and effective recruitment through social media. Faculty, staff, and students discussed and planned social media strategies that build community for student success in STEM.

Awards Program

Students with the top three posters in two categories, Research and Experiential, were awarded cash prizes.  The top prize in each category received $300.00, second place received $200.00, and third place $100.00.  Students attending the event also voted for their favorite poster.  The winner of the students’ favorite poster received a cash prize of $250.00.

Faculty, staff, and students also were recognized for their achievements in pursuit of achieving the IINSPIRE LSAMP mission and for their contributions to the program.

The Stokes Award of Outstanding Service is granted to individuals, team, or organizations associated with the IINSPIRE Alliance for service at an exemplary level, in pursuit of the LSAMP Alliance's primary goal to increase the participation of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields.

The Excellence in Mentoring Award is presented to faculty, staff, and students who are actively involved with LSAMP students and assist students in setting and achieving their own academic, personal and professional goals.

A full list of the professional award and poster winners are available under the "Award Winners" tab in the menu on the left.

Research/Internship Opportunities Fair

Organizations had the opportunity to share information with URM undergraduate STEM students from across the alliance at the research/internship opportunities fair and during other sessions. Click here for a complete list of exhibitors.

More information about the Annual Conference, including photos for the day's event will be posted soon.

Contact information:
Danielle Mitchell
(515) 294-6151

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