DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
Long-standing structural disadvantages separate many underserved communities in the U.S. from opportunities to benefit from and add to scientific knowledge. NITMB has a set of initiatives to bridge these gaps and expand and diversify the interdisciplinary workforce. NITMB integrates inclusiveness into its training, education, research capacity building, community outreach, workforce development, and dissemination activities. Prof. Lois Trautvetter, Director of the Higher Education and Policy Program at Northwestern University, is a key member of NITMB and plays an advisory role for NITMB regarding its efforts to make training, education, outreach and workforce development more inclusive.
A major goal of the NITMB to broaden participation and increase diversity in mathematics and biology by engaging a broad audience in the community, local schools, and colleges around the country. NITMB’s activities will leverage its physical location in Chicago, which has a large population of people who are under-represented in the scientific workforce.
Science Club and Math Circles of Chicago
NITMB is collaborating with Northwestern’s Science in Society, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, and teachers in the Chicago Public Schools to improve underserved students’ access to high-quality mentoring and integrated math and science learning. NITMB is partnering to expand an out-of-school-time program called Science Club. Science Club participants from middle school work closely with graduate student mentors on science projects over the whole year. NITMB plans to expand Science Club’s educational model and geographic reach to the broader Chicago community. NITMB also plans to build a new community-based summer STEM camp through partnership with Math Circles of Chicago and led by Chicago Public School teachers.
MSI/HBCU Participation in the NITMB
NITMB has partnered with Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), a minority-serving institution (MSI) on Chicago’s WestSide, to provide research opportunities for their undergraduate students and teachers combined with exchange experiences for NITMB faculty. Partnerships with other Chicago MSIs and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) nationwide will be developed over time using lessons from the seed partnership with NEIU.
NITMB hosts a national 12-month fully funded post-baccalaureate Bridge Program aimed at under-represented students who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. degree in mathematics or biology. This bridge program partners with the NSF-funded mathematics post-baccalaureate program Causeway at Northwestern University to profit from their experience and share joint efforts.