About PUMA-STEM and LSAMP
The Promotion of Underrepresented Minorities in Academic STEM (PUMA-STEM) Alliance is funded by the National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.
The NSF LSAMP program aims to diversify the STEM workforce by increasing the number of students successfully completing STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees.
The PUMA-STEM Alliance consists of seven four-year institutions and one community college located in the Chicago area.
- PUMA-STEM’s proposed alliance activities will prepare students to enter STEM graduate programs and the STEM workforce. Specific Alliance-wide goals include:
- Graduation: A doubling of the number of underrepresented minority (URM) students graduating with STEM majors in the alliance institutions from 146 to 292.
- Retention: Improved retention of URM students in STEM between the first and second years by closing the retention gap between URM and non-URM students by at least 50%.
- Graduate enrollment: Increased number of URM students entering STEM graduate programs by at least 25%.
- Transfer success: Improved successful transfer and persistence of URM students from two-year to four-year institutions, increasing URM transfer student graduate rates in STEM by at least 25%.
- The PUMA-STEM alliance will provide a model of how small, primarily undergraduate institutions can increase success of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields through a committed regional network of institutions working together to develop support programs and build communities. By collecting alliance data and disseminating results, we will increase understanding of the effectiveness of strategies intended to: improve social cohesion, increase interest in research, provide student mentorship and support career preparation.
Key PUMA-STEM Personnel
- President Troy VanAken, Principal Investigator, Elmhurst University
- Dr. Erik Ankerberg, Co-PI, Concordia University Chicago
- Jeffrey Carlson, Co-PI, Dominican University
- Dr. Lee Ann Smith, Benedictine University
- Dr. Laura Merwin, Concordia University Chicago
- Dr. Christopher Anderson, Dominican University
- Dr. Amanda Harsy, Lewis University
- Dr. Piotr Szczurek, Lewis University
- Dr. Frank Harwath, North Central College
- Dr. Imad Al Saeed, Saint Xavier University
- Dr. Cory DiCarlo, College of DuPage
- Dr. John Schwartz, External Evaluator, Concordia University Chicago