The Promotion of Underrepresented Minorities in Academic STEM (PUMA-STEM) Alliance is focused on strengthening underrepresented minority student success in STEM at primarily undergraduate and regional institutions.

The alliance consists of seven four-year institutions and one community college:

  • Elmhurst University (lead institution)
  • Benedictine University
  • Concordia University Chicago
  • Dominican University
  • Lewis University
  • North Central College
  • Saint Xavier University
  • College of DuPage

To achieve alliance goals, PUMA-STEM partners will implement cohesive high-impact practices such as:

  • Faculty and peer mentoring
  • High-quality research experiences (including opportunities for students transferring to four-year institutions)
  • Programs to promote inclusive experiences and a sense of belonging in STEM fields


Student Testimonials

Sydnie Rizaldo, Lewis University student and PUMA-STEM participant

“The PUMA-STEM summer research program was an incredibly fun and valuable learning experience that gave me an increased appreciation for scientific research and the opportunity to present at the 2020 LSMRCE Conference.” —Sydnie Rizaldo, Lewis University

Nevin Brittain, Elmhurst University student and PUMA-STEM participant

“The PUMA STEM summer research program was a phenomenal experience! The program helped me develop and improve my organizational skills, personal development skills and time management ability. All these qualities I can confidently bring into my future profession.” —Nevin Brittain, Elmhurst University

Natalie Figueroa, Benedictine University student and PUMA-STEM participant

“PUMA-STEM has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and a STEM student. This experience has made me capable of expanding my skills and improving my performance in all aspects of the STEM field. Conducting scientific research through a program so inclusive like PUMA-STEM has allowed me to gain new tools that will help me during my academic career.” —Natalie Figueroa, Benedictine University


The PUMA-STEM Alliance is supported by the National Science Foundation through the LSAMP Program under Award Number 1911271. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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