Elmhurst to Take Part in Project to Build Diversity in STEM Workforce

September 7, 2016 | by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs

A recently awarded National Science Foundation grant will enable Elmhurst College to participate in a project seeking to increase the number of college students from underrepresented groups who successfully complete a program of study in one of the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and pursue a STEM-related career.

The grant of $117,516 recently was awarded to Concordia University Chicago and will be used, in partnership with other several other educational institutions, including Elmhurst, to develop a process that would build strong, coordinated connections from high school to college to employment in STEM, while also reducing barriers for underrepresented minorities in those fields.

“I am very excited to be part of this group working to improve representation of minorities in STEM fields,” said Eve Mellgren, assistant professor of biology at Elmhurst College and a co-principal investigator on the project. “We hope that our efforts will eventually lead to a more diverse STEM workforce.”

In addition to Concordia-Chicago and Elmhurst, the alliance of educational institutions includes Dominican University, Hooke College, Oak Park and River Forest High School, and Proviso Math and Science Academy.

The grant was awarded to help support the mission of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program, which helps colleges and universities to diversify the STEM workforce through efforts to significantly increase the number of students from historically underrepresented minority populations that successfully complete high-quality degree programs in STEM.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. The NSF is the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by American colleges and universities.

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