In 23 years, scholars from many backgrounds, fields of study and affiliations have attended the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring to acquire skills to become effective teachers and inspiring mentors.
Many of those who attend the Institute have majored in STEM fields. However, it is no secret there are still low numbers of minority STEM workers. Two former Institute attendees and STEM diversity champions show how they are attempting to rewrite the script on this issue.
Dr. Reginald Rogers
Rogers has transitioned from an Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate Institute attendee to an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He is the recipient of the 2016 Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for his commitment to giving students the tools to blend conceptual learning with the quantitative principles of engineering. Rogers emphasizes the importance for students to feel challenged and concerned with learning instead of always getting the correct answer.
Rogers also regularly involves undergraduate students in his research lab and is an advisor to RIT’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and his research focus is on developing novel nanomaterials to help improve the removal of contaminants from water systems.
Ms. Janeen Perry Campbell
Campbell is a SREB DSP Scholar and science teacher at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia. Her engaging lab work with minority high school students is on display in a new video highlighting her classroom. The course is designed for students to experience college-level science assignments with the opportunity to obtain college credit.
Students from her class talk about their excitement to participate in labs and experiments that give them hands-on experience with genetics.
“I love science, and I would love to major in computer science. I am taking this class to further myself in college, because if I pass the AP exam this class will give me college credit,” one student of the class remarked.
Campbell conveyed her satisfaction to see students excited to come to class to learn what it takes to be successful in science. She hopes that the work in the classroom is breeding a future generation of scientists and STEM professionals.
In addition to teaching, Campbell is attending Old Dominion University for a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning.
The Institute is proud of the work these and other attendees are doing to further diversify STEM fields. We are hopeful there are many other stories out there, and that the demographics of the STEM workforce are changing one classroom at a time.
Written by Chanell Turner, Publications and Programming Assistant of the Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholars Program.