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Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP)

The mission of the Institute for Broadening Participation is to increase diversity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. Since 2003, IBP has connected underrepresented students with STEM funding and research opportunities, and has provided faculty and administrators with tools and resources to help promote the positive factors that keep underrepresented students on the STEM pathway into successful STEM careers. We design and implement strategies to increase access to STEM education, funding, and careers, with special emphasis on diverse underrepresented groups. We believe that diversifying the STEM workforce is the best way to ensure our nation's economic vitality and solve global challenges. To learn more about our current projects, click here.

P.O. Box 607
Damariscotta, ME 04543

IBP People

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IBP Staff

David Siegfried
Executive Director; Director of Assessment Processes

David joined IBP in 2008 and is responsible for the operations of IBP as well as the development and integration of evaluation across all of IBP's projects and programs. He also provides external evaluation services for programs focused on broadening participation in STEM. As the project manager for IBP's Pathways to Engineering project funded under a grant from the NSF-EEC, Co-PI of a project focused on Ocean Science REU recruitment, and internal evaluator for the IBP-STEM project funded under a grant from NSF-GEO, he leads the development and implementation of data collection tools and research to support students and faculty in a variety of STEM disciplines. He is also the internal evaluator responsible for process documentation and assessment for IBP's NASA One Stop Shop Initiative (OSSI) project. As a former software developer and project manager, David also contributes to the design and development of IBP's data and content management systems. He holds a BS in Leadership and Organizational Studies from the University of Southern Maine and an MBA in Organizational and Environmental Management / Sustainability from Antioch University New England, and is involved in a variety of community development projects around Portland Maine where he resides.

Sandra Thomas
Executive Director Emeritus

Sandy is the former Executive Director of IBP and now serves as a senior staff member focusing on directing the NSF supported Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate Project as well as general operations. Formerly she was the Vice President for Programs at a small non-profit educational organization on the coast of Maine. Prior to that she developed and directed two fellowship programs based at the University of Michigan. One was sponsored by USAID for graduate students who served overseas on two year assignments and the other was an interdisciplinary fellowship program supported by the MacArthur Foundation. She has over twenty five years of experience in the administration of science and education projects. Her experience includes all aspects of project management and student recruitment and retention. She played a central role in developing a successful multi-institutional IGERT proposal in 1999 which was renewed in 2005.

Liv Detrick
Senior Adviser

Detrick coordinates IBP’s annual outreach activities to students and faculty. She also assists in annual activities to support IBP’s current and prospective members and donors. Her past work for IBP has included managing IBP's National Science Foundation IBP-STEM (Infrastructure for Broadening Participation in STEM) project and IBP's NASA funded One Stop Shopping Initiative (OSSI) project. She has served as IBP's web developer, designing and programming its website. Liv has a BS in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College and an MS in Geography from Penn State University.

Don Conry
Information Technology Specialist

Don works with and maintains the computer infrastructure to support IBP’s processing and data needs. Don has been working in the technology field on and off for two decades. He is familiar with and has been working with nonprofit organizations longer, either directly or indirectly. Prior to joining IBP he was project manager for the restoration of an 1889 first class passenger railcar with The Challenge Program, a construction training program for at-risk inner city youth.

Cynthia Charles
Content Systems Manager

Cynthia joined the Institute for Broadening Participation team in 2004, originally working with Student data for the IGERT National Recruitment Program. She now works with all types of data, organizing and managing, as well as implementation, design, development,and support of data/forms that are located in three of IBP's databases. Cynthia works with the student information that is collected for IBP's National Student Direcory, recording and maintaining data from students who sign up for notification of educational research and funding opportunities through IBP's Outreach efforts. She works in informatics for IBP; storing, recording, manipulating, reporting data collected by IBP's outreach teams. She also works with data in the Outlook Shared Contacts directory, as well as with the data in IBP's Webmaster database which posts programs, profiles, news, and events to the IBP website. Cynthia's background in business ownership has given her the skills to look at and manage data thoroughly and systematically. Experienced in Microsoft Access, she monitors and improves data accuracy, quality and consistency for the Institute for Broadening Participation's data collection and management efforts.

Melanie Huggans
Director of Operations; Assistant to the Executive Director

Melanie provides administrative support to the executive director that includes organizing events, assisting with fundraising efforts, and corresponding to student inquiries. She also works with the Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success (MS PHD'S) Professional Development Program which provides students with professional development opportunities, science exposure, networking opportunities, and mentoring relationships. Prior to working with IBP, Melanie worked for several years as an electrical engineer and project leader. She received a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MBA from The University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a MS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech. Melanie left corporate America to nurture and provide guidance for her family. Through IBP, she is now able to offer insight to underrepresented minority students about some of the opportunities that are available to them.

Carolynn Molleur
Director of Finance

Carolynn has over 15 year's consulting experience providing accounting and personnel support to professional corporations in the Boston area. Prior to consulting she was the comptroller of a large landscape architecture firm. Her education background includes business instruction at the high school and adult level. She holds a BS in Business Education from Salem State University. Carolynn joined IBP in 2009.

Gina Salvatore
Manager, National Student Directory

Gina joined the Institute for Broadening Participation team in 2011. She works primarily with student information and data, organizing and managing educational information for the students who sign up for notification of educational research and funding opportunities, either through using the online webform or by meeting IBP staff members at outreach events and conferences. Gina makes sure the data gets organized and managed quickly and accurately, entering the student information into IBP's National Student Directory. Her background in medical science in the veterinary field has helped hone her skills at being thorough and detail-oriented, which enhances her work with informatics and information science for IBP. Gina earned her bachelor's degree in Equine Science and Veterinary Technology from Otterbein University in Ohio.

IBP Board of Directors

Tim Turner (Board Chair)

Mr. Timothy Turner has over 20 years’ experience managing scholarships and fellowships supported by the Federal government. Federal clients include the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE).

From 2010 to 2016, he served as the Director, Fellowships & Research Opportunities department at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Mr. Turner was responsible for management and oversight of ASEE’s science and engineering education scholarship and fellowship programs. He served as the primary liaison with government program sponsors and directed a team of up to 20 program managers and support staff, working on fellowship administration supporting high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty members.

From 2004 to 2010, he served as the Project Director for ASEE’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). He was responsible for transition from the contract incumbent to ASEE, contract administration, project scheduling, and the direction of operations team. Support services included providing student help desk support and processing of application materials. In addition, he provided program promotion and outreach activities, delivery of presentations and workshops and meeting planning for an annual application review event.

Beverly Karplus Hartline
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies , Montana Tech

Beverly Karplus Hartline, Ph.D. has been Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies at Montana Tech since 2012, where she is also campus director for the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership. Previously she has served as a dean of science, math, and technology; dean of engineering; graduate dean; and/or in research administration at three minority-serving universities: University of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC), Delaware State University (Dover, DE), and Heritage University (Toppenish, WA). She entered higher education via an unusual career path, which included several years of research and project management at Department of Energy National Laboratories, such as Los Alamos, Jefferson Lab, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and Argonne, and 2 years in science policy at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy. Strongly committed to fostering research and international collaboration, Hartline is also recognized for efforts to broaden participation in science and engineering in the USA and internationally to include more women and underrepresented minorities. For 6 years she was a member of the NSF’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE), including one as chairperson, and on several other advisory committees to various federal agencies and higher education organizations, including the National Advisory Board for the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program. She served on the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics’ (IUPAP) Working Group on Women in Physics from 1999 to 2011, taking key organizing roles for the first four international conferences on women in physics, and editing the proceedings volumes for the first three conferences. She has been successful in enhancing the grant-seeking success of faculty, and in growing graduate school enrollment and completions. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Association for Women in Science. Her bachelor’s degree is in chemistry and physics from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and her Ph.D. in geophysics is from the University of Washington, Seattle. Bev and her husband, Fred, enjoy hiking, biking, backpacking, and cross-country skiing in Montana and elsewhere. Their two sons are both computer scientists.

Keivan Stassun
Stevenson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University and Adjunct Professor of Physics, Fisk University

Keivan Stassun is Associate Professor of Astronomy at Vanderbilt University, with an adjunct position at Fisk University. Dr. Stassun serves as chair of the American Astronomical Society's Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy. He is also co-director of a new NASA-funded initiative to increase the number of minorities in astronomy and space science. This new program (FASST: Fisk Astronomy and Space Science Training Program) is administered jointly between Fisk and Vanderbilt. The FASST program includes a new undergraduate astrophysics curriculum at Fisk, undergraduate and graduate research experiences, and a joint Masters-PhD program in which students may earn a Masters at Fisk and then transfer seamlessly to the PhD program at Vanderbilt. Dr. Stassun is a recent recipient of an NSF CAREER award, and currently serves on the board of directors for The Institute for Broadening Participation.

About his own experience, Keivan writes:

I was born on July 9, 1972, in Los Angeles, California. I get my strange genetic admixture from my Mexican mother and Iranian father. My first name is Persian for Saturn, my middle name was my (maternal) grandmother's, and my last name is my German stepfather's.

I lived in the funky beach town of Venice until I was seven. When my mother and stepfather married, I moved to Encino in the San Fernando Valley (a.k.a. "the Valley"), where I consider myself to have grown up. The Valley has the dubious distinction of being the country's porn capital, not to mention the origin of Valleygirl speak.

I never knew my father. He left when I was an infant, never to reappear. Thus I know nothing of my paternal family history, and I've never felt much connection to my Iranian heritage.

My Mexican heritage, on the other hand, is one to which I relate very strongly. I was raised bilingually and speak Spanish fluently. My family's origins trace back to the Mixteco region of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. Beginning with my grandmother and grandfather, who left Oaxaca for a small village outside of Guadalajara, my family's history has been a steady push north, toward the promise of a better life in "el norte".

My mother was one of only two (out of ten) children to venture across the border when she crossed at the age of twenty. She later met my father, and returned to Mexico to marry and to move the rest of the family closer to the US (outside of Tijuana). A few weeks before my birth, she decided to return to the US, intent on having her son born an American citizen. She crossed the border only a few days before I was born in Los Angeles.

My father left shortly thereafter, and my mother set about gaining residency status and earning a high school equivalency. She worked cleaning homes in the Venice area, and we subsisted on food stamps and welfare. I attribute much of my drive in academics to my earliest memories of my mother studying late into the night for her equivalency and, later, for her citizenship.

I moved to a working-class neighborhood in the Valley when my mother married my stepfather. I took my stepfather's name when I was eleven, and have used it as my own since. Interestingly, I am one of only two males in my generation carrying the Stassun name.

I was spared mainstream LA schools when I was identified "high IQ" and was recommended for a gifted magnet program. I attended Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies for both middle school and high school. During my high school years I participated in a number of activities: newspaper editor-in-chief, yearbook photographer, chorus, drama, speech and debate, varsity volleyball. I graduated second in my class.

Thinking I wanted to be an astronaut, I applied and was accepted to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. But I chickened out at the last minute, and instead attended Berkeley under a full scholarship. I gave the Navy a shot for a year, even going through "basic training" on Treasure Island, but eventually gave it up for good.

I studied Astronomy at Berkeley under the tutelage of Gibor Basri. While there, I organized a club for undergraduate astronomy majors, and set up and taught a lab for undergraduate majors. I was selected to deliver the Astronomy/Physics valedictory at my 1994 graduation. I also dabbled in theatre, both as an actor and lighting designer, even stage managing for John Fisher's acclaimed production of The Joy of Gay Sex.

I left the sunny climes of California to do my graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, under the guidance of Bob Mathieu. It was at Wisconsin that my ideas about the importance of combining scholarly practices in research, teaching, and outreach began to crystallize. In addition to carrying out my thesis research, I also became active in math/science education for minorities in the local schools, and I developed an astronomy outreach program (Scopes for Schools) which provides teachers with resources and training for teaching astronomy.

After completing my PhD in 2000, I spent a year helping to design, implement, and administer a new graduate fellowship program at Wisconsin called K-Through-Infinity Professional Development Partnership. This program partners graduate students in science and engineering with K-12 teachers to both enhance math/science teaching in the schools and to enhance professional development of graduate students.

I then spent two more years at Wisconsin as a Hubble Fellow before moving to Nashville in 2003. I am currently an assistant professor of astronomy at Vanderbilt University, and also hold an adjunct position at Fisk University.

In 2004 I married Justine Stassun nee Clotfelter at the New Garden Friends Meeting in her hometown of Greensboro, North Carolina. Justine is Lab Manager for a pharmacogenomics of arrhythmia therapy research lab in the Vanderbilt Medical Center. On July 30, 2006, Justine gave birth to our son, Jaime.

Tomalei Vess
Director, Office of Science Engagement, Pennsylvania State University

Tomalei Vess is a student and faculty centered professional whose career has focused on educational access, diversity, and excellence.  A first-generation college student, Vess earned a bachelor's degree in biology from James Madison University, where she conducted research for three years, an endeavor that changed her career path from medicine to research and teaching. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Duke University. After serving as a consultant for Duke's Women's Initiative for a year, Vess joined the faculty at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a residential public high school. She then returned to Duke as assistant dean in the Graduate School, running summer undergraduate research programs and focusing on recruitment and retention of Ph.D. students. Vess’s focus on undergraduate research as a means to promote student success continued in Duke’s interdisciplinary research Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and then Virginia Tech. 

Before joining Penn State in 2015, Dr. Vess served as a full-time biology teacher at a high need Appalachian high school. During this time, Vess also was a digital research project consultant at Virginia Tech Libraries. At Penn State, Dr. Vess directs the Eberly College of Science’s Office of Science Engagement, promoting access to and participation of all science students in undergraduate research, education abroad, as well as career and professional development.

Dr. Vess enjoys cycling, kayaking, running, and hanging out with her beagle, Miss Ruthie. She is a serious sports fan, with basketball and football at the top of a long list. Dr. Vess has close ties to southwest Virginia where her partner is biology faculty and her mother and grandparents live.

IBP Regional Specialists

Bernard Batson
Program Director, College of Engineering, University of South Florida

Batson previously coordinated the Sensory Knowledge-based Interface Science (SKINS) IGERT, University of South Florida. Bernard also served for three years as a Program Coordinator for the McNair Scholars Program/Honors College at USF. In that capacity, he assisted faculty from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions with the development of undergraduate research mentoring programs modeled after USF's successful Ronald McNair Scholars Program. Bernard has rendered graduate/medical school and fellowship application assistance to McNair alumni and other USF students. Prior to that appointment Bernard served as Coordinator of Multicultural Admissions, where he joined a unit that spearheaded significant increase in the enrollment of minority freshmen at the University.

Larry Campbell
Retired Program Director, North Carolina Alliance to Create Opportunity Through Education (NC OPT-ED)

Colonel (Retired) Larry Campbell is the former Program Director for the North Carolina Alliance to Create Opportunity through Education (NC OPT-ED), a National Science Foundation Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP). The program was located in the Chemistry Department and was funded through a collaborative grant between North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Although the NC OPT-ED program and Alliance no longer exist, Larry continues to promote STEM education among those population groups underrepresented in the STEM fields. Larry previously served as a member of the Provost Council for Diversity Pipeline Programs and continues to serve as a Regional Specialist for the Institute of Broadening Participation. Following his retirement from the Army, Colonel Campbell taught management and professional development courses in the School of Business at North Carolina Central University. He is a recipient of the Presidential Citation awarded by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO). He is also the recipient of numerous Department of Defense awards and recognitions.

Sara Hernández
Associate Dean for Inclusion and Student Engagement, Cornell University

Sara Xayarath Hernández is the Associate Dean for Inclusion & Student Engagement for the Graduate School at Cornell University. In this role, she serves as one five University Diversity Officers and as a core member of the Dean's leadership team, providing vision, leadership, and overall management for Graduate School initiatives and policies related to diversity and inclusion. Hernández directs the Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement (OISE), which leads the Graduate School’s efforts to recruit, retain, and support a diverse student body with a particular focus on students from groups historically underrepresented in graduate education. OISE in partnership with other Graduate School and university partners, leads student engagement and professional development programming that fosters community and develops skills to enhance academic success, improve retention and completion rates, and prepare students to pursue academic and non-academic careers following attainment of their graduate degrees.

Hernández has served as a University Member Representative to the National GEM Consortium since 2009. In 2010, GEM recognized Hernández as the University Member Representative of the Year and in 2013, she became the Standing Chair for the Operations Committee. In her previous role as Director of Diversity Programs in Engineering at Cornell, Hernández served as the Co-PI for Cornell’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation funded UCEM Program and for Cornell’s NSF funded Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation and STEM Talent Expansion Programs.

Hernández holds a Bachelor of Arts in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University.

Carole Hom
Academic Coordinator, Evolution and Ecology, College of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis

Hom received a doctorate in Ecology at the University of Tennesee, with a focus on theoretical ecology and herpetology. As an instructor, program administrator, researcher and leader, Carole Hom is highly regarded by deans, faculty, students and staff alike. She is called "visionary" in her pursuit of a synthesis of math and biology. And she has extended this passion into the classroom as academic coordinator for a number of major training programs at UC Davis. Recognizing her outstanding accomplishments, the Academic Federation has awarded Hom the 2005 James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award. The honor is given annually to recognize a distinguished career in research, teaching and/or public service. Hom has coordinated several major interdisciplinary initiatives. Three of these are IGERT training grants funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). -- Biological Invasions, Responding to Rapid Environmental Change (, and Climate Change, Water, and Society ( Her effort has led to recognition by the NSF and her appointment to a national committee that supports the 200 IGERTs currently funded in the U.S. A second is a wide-ranging quantitative biology initiative, which has attracted major funding from the National Institutes of Health and the NSF. The third is a undergraduate mentoring and research program, in collaboration with faculty from Howard University, funded by the University of California Office of the President.

Alisa Johnson
Director of Graduate Recruitment, University of Texas, Arlington

Alisa Johnson is the Director of Graduate Recruitment at The University of Texas at Arlington. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Texas. Alisa has over 20 years of admissions, recruiting and student services experience. Prior to her current appointment, Alisa worked in the UT Arlington Graduate School and was actively in involved in numerous grant initiatives that focused on improving graduate education and providing funding to graduate students.

She is actively engaged in student recruiting and retention activities and has collaborated with faculty and administrators at UT Arlington, throughout the state of Texas, and around the country on student recruitment and retention projects. Some of these projects include the Howard Pre-Faculty Internship, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program Summer Research Academy (SRA), and the UT System LSAMP Bridge the Doctorate program hosted by UT Arlington.

Jami Joyner
Director, Diversity Programs, Cornell University

Jamie is Director of Diversity Programs for Cornell Engineering. Diversity Programs in Engineering is a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. DPE provides an institutionalized approach for meeting the needs of students and faculty by coordinating and planning educational, professional development, and networking opportunities that enhance interaction and learning across groups. Through intentional programming and training, DPE facilitates the college in understanding, appreciating, and celebrating Cornell's rich cultural diversity.

Carmen Lopez
Executive Director of College Horizons

Lopez is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and is from the Forest Lake area of Black Mesa, Arizona and she also grew up in Farmington, New Mexico. Mrs. Lopez is of the Bitter Water clan born for the Anglo clan; her maternal grandfather's clan is Many Goats and her paternal grandfather's clan is Anglo.

Lopez recently served for five years as the Executive Director of the Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) located in Cambridge, MA. In her efforts to build a vibrant intellectual community committed to Native American Studies at Harvard, Mrs. Lopez oversaw the operation of the university-wide Interfaculty Initiative which focused on American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian recruitment and student support; interdisciplinary teaching and research projects on Native issues; and community outreach. Lopez also served as a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Committee on Ethnic Studies, The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, admissions reader for the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master in Public Policy program, consultant to the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and a reader and site visitor for the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development’s Honoring Nations Program.

Prior to her appointment at HUNAP, Lopez served on the faculty of Cushing Academy located in Ashburnham, MA and the Native American Preparatory School located in Rowe, NM where she taught high school United States History, American Studies, and American Politics and Government. She received her B.A. in History modified with Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and her Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Lopez volunteers her time with the Indian Dispute Resolution Services Inc. and the Native American Alumni Association at Dartmouth College.

Melvin Monette
President and Executive Director, Indigenous Education, Inc.

Dedicated to higher education and diversity issues, Melvin Monette has recently served as a national scholarship provider director and prior to that, the Director for Student Recruitment for the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. During his service at U of M, he was a member of the Executive Board of the Midwest Center for Lifelong Learning in Public Health, served the Transgender Commission and was Chairperson of the Scholarship Task Force, as well as the Assistant for a RWJF National Quality Improvement Research Project. Outside work, Mr. Monette continued his commitment to diversity and education by providing service to the Two Feathers Endowment, through the Saint Paul Foundation Spectrum Trust, working with local high schools to address American Indian higher education issues and providing HIV prevention education through the Minnesota Aids Project and the American Red Cross. He has also served as an Ambassador of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program and Read Trainer for several years. Mr. Monette has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.S. in Education, from the University of North Dakota, and is currently the President and Executive Director of Indigenous Education, Inc., a non profit organization which manages the Cobell Scholarship program for Native college students.

Colette Patt
Director, Mathematical and Physical Sciences Diversity and Education Center, University of California, Berkeley

Colette E. Patt is the director of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Diversity and Education Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Patt's work focuses on increasing the diversity of the undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral populations in STEM fields and enhancing the long-term success in academia of people historically underrepresented in these fields. Dr. Patt also directs the Berkeley Science Network (supported by the Mitchell Kapor Foundation), the Berkeley Science Network Scholars Program (supported by the National Science Foundation--S-STEM program and UC Berkeley), The Berkeley Edge Program, and Berkeley Science Connections (supported by the National Science Foundation's I3 program.) Dr. Patt's research focuses on how social and cultural factors influence the demographics of the scientific workforce. Dr. Patt received her Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Studies in Education at UC Berkeley.

Sonia Rodriguez
Senior Administrator for the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Sonia Rodriguez has over twenty years of experience in the areas of recruitment, admissions, fellowships and program management at the University of Southern California. She currently serves as the Senior Administrator for the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity. Prior to that, Ms. Rodriguez served 13 years as the Director of Fellowships and Minority Affairs for the Graduate School, where she was responsible for the coordination of USC's All-University Predoctoral Diversity Fellowship and the financial management of over $4 million dollars in student aid funds. She often advises students and groups on fellowships and other types of student aid and volunteers her time to participate in a variety of efforts to help underrepresented students, like the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education. This California native found her seven-year tenure as mentor through the Fulfillment Fund among her most rewarding experiences. Sonia served as the 75th President of th e California Junior Chamber (Jaycees), where she has been a member for over eighteen years. Sonia was a HOPE Leadership Institute Graduate in 2001 and received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California in 1990. In her spare time, Sonia enjoys dancing salsa and is an avid Trojan Football Fan.

David Shafer
Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, North Carolina State University

Dr. David Shafer is Assistant Dean of the Graduate School at North Carolina State University. He is responsible for oversight of fellowship and traineeship programs, graduate recruitment initiatives, and diversity programs. In addition, he organizes a number of professional development activities to prepare students for graduate school, and to help retain them once they are enrolled. Annually, Dr. Shafer oversees federal, state, and privately funded fellowship and traineeship programs valued at over $4 million. He served as one of the Principal Investigators of the NSF AGEP program, entitled the North Carolina Alliance to Create Opportunity Through Education (OPT-ED), and currently serves as co-PI of the NIH-funded Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD). Dr. Shafer began working with the Graduate School in 1990 after receiving his B.A. in political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Dean in 2003, he served as Coordinator of the Colloquium on Issues in Graduate Education and Director of Fellowship Programs. Dr. Shafer earned both a master's degree in political science (1993) and Ph.D. in public administration (2002) from North Carolina State University.

Mazen Shahin
Professor, Mathematics, Director, Philadelphia Alliance for Minority Participation, Bridges, Science and Technology Academy for Residence Scholars, Delaware State University

Dr. Shahin is the Project Director for the NSF funded HBCU-UP project: Changing the Equation for Science and Mathematics Learning (CESML) and is also the Founder and Director of Science and Technology Academy of Residence Scholars (STARS) and the Project Director of the NSF funded Bridge to the Doctorate program at DSU. He has also served as the director of the U-DREAM undergraduate research program, and founder and director of the Girls’ Explorations in Mathematics and Science program.

Gail Smith
Minority Access/Graduate Networking in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (MAGNET-STEM II), CUNY Graduate Center

Gail Smith, currently serving as acting assistant provost at The Graduate Center of New York, is the principal investigator and program director of the NSF/CUNY AGEP and the NIH/Bridges to the Doctorate Programs.

Gail received her Ph.D. in classical philology from New York University with a thesis entitled The Importance of Miracle to the Religion of Plutarch of Chaeroneia. Since 1999 she has served as Principal Investigator/Program Director for two CUNY-wide graduate education programs geared toward broadening participation in the STEM and SBE sciences: the National Institutes of Health/Bridges to the Doctorate Program and the National Science Foundation Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) Program. In this capacity, Dr. Smith works with administrators and faculty throughout CUNY as well as with CUNY's partnering institutions - New Jersey Institute of Technology, Polytechnic at New York University, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University - to provide financial, social and professional development support for master's and doctoral students from underrepresented groups in STEM and SBE fields with a view to diversifying the professoriate.

Dr. Smith combines her commitment to this mission with research in classical studies as professor of classics at Brooklyn College. A former editor and book reviewer for The Classical Outlook, she has published on ancient drama and is completing books on Euripidean tragedy and on Plutarch's religious philosophy. Dr. Smith is also reading source materials for a book on African American Women Writers and the Classical Tradition.

Jack Soto
Project Coordinator, National Coalition for the Advancement of Natives in Higher Education

Jack Soto, Co-Chair of National Coalition for the Advancement of Natives in Higher Education (NCANHE), is Navajo of the Black-Streaked-Wood People and Cocopah of the Bird Clan. Soto most recently served as Director of the Washington Semester American Indian Program – Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) at American University in Washington, DC. During his role as the Director, WINS received recognition by the National Congress of American Indians by being awarded the 2012 Public Leadership Award. Soto received his M.S. in Organizational Development and his B.A. in Political Science in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Although much of his current work in focused on organizational cross-cultural competency training, his career and academic development was greatly influenced by his time with the National Indian Education Association (NIEA). He works to improve academic institutional support of Natives student in higher education. He currently lives in Yuma, AZ, and is developing his PhD dissertation research topic in understanding the intersection between higher education and tribal community strategic planning.

Toni Sperzel
Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion; Program Manager, Dr. W. Burghardt Turner and GEM Fellowships, Stony Brook University

Toni Sperzel is the Program Manager for the Dr. W. Burghardt Turner Fellowship program, a New York state funded, recruitment-focused fellowship program supporting the academic success of underrepresented Graduate Students across multiple disciplines at Stony Brook . She also coordinates Stony Brook's participation in the National GEM Consortium and administers the GEM Fellowship here at SBU. Toni has a decade of experience in educational administration in multiple capacities including departmental administration, admissions and recruitment of graduate and international students and now, retention and persistence of underrepresented graduate students. She holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Boston College.

Yolanda Treviño
Assistant Vice President of Strategy, Planning and Assessment, OVP for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, Indiana University

Yolanda Treviño is Assistant Dean of the University Graduate School and AGEP Project Director for CIC AGEP-T. This is an excerpt from one of on of her AGEP newsletters:

"How do we begin to create change in the university system? We begin with participation. And by "we", I mean students, faculty and administrators who have the ability to tap into the resources provided to us by the NSF AGEP grant. AGEP resources are to promote change - changes within departments and programs, changes to the wider system, changes that lead to the broadening of STEM participation at IU -- a more robust campus environment for all students and faculty. Helping to implement policies, practices and structures that build capacity and support best practices is what AGEP resources are meant to do. Roosevelt Johnson, the national Director for AGEP, has said ''if we just want more underrepresented minorities (URM) on campus, we could use AGEP funding to bring in URM students, but what we want is to really make a long term, systematic difference, we need to not just bring in URM students, but to mentor, retain and ultimately advance these students into the professoriate''. Note how the Department of Mathematics at IU invited three URM students for a campus visit and how all three enrolled-- representing a 300 percent change in that department. Departments bringing students for visits isn't a new idea, but this time it was done with an additional component provided by AGEP staff and AGEP-supportive faculty and current students. The ''component'' was a chance for prospective students from related subject areas to meet others with similar backgrounds at IU and to hear from faculty about what makes a successful graduate student at IU. When we speak of success, let's take as a model a recent Council of Graduate Schools' study through the Ph.D. Completion Project. According to this study, six institutional and program characteristics can be identified as key factors that affect the likelihood that a particular student will complete a Ph.D. program. These factors are (1) Selection, (2) Mentoring, (3) Financial Support, (4) Program Environment, (5) Research Mode of the Field, and (6) Processes & Procedures.

Here are some sample questions from that study that you should ask yourself to gauge your departmental practices related to the graduate student experience:

-Does the program encourage pre-admission visits?

-Is program completion data available to prospective students?

-Does the program offer advising workshops or seminars?

-Is a summary of program expectations and milestones available?

-Are preparing future faculty activities, such as research experience and co-publishing with faculty, equally offered to all students?

-What kind of graduate student advising and mentoring training is offered to faculty?

Renetta Tull
Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Student Development and Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Renetta Garrison Tull, PhD is the director of PROMISE: Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP). PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP is an alliance of the three public research universities in Maryland, led by UMBC, dedicated to the increasing the number and diversity of Ph.D. graduates in the sciences and engineering who go on to academic careers.

The alliance between UMBC, UMB, and UMCP encourages interaction between the university communities. Each university will develop its own set of activities in three areas: 1) cultivating new graduate students; 2) building a supportive community where students can excel; and 3) promoting professional development. Although some of the activities will be on individual campuses, one of the keys to the success of PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is the development and implementation of activities that promote successful recruitment, retention, graduation, and professorial training that will involve and engage students from all three campuses.

PROMISE uniquely serves the needs of graduate students across three campuses through activities that range from retreats, seminars, and conferences, to informal discussions during breakfast. The services and programs of PROMISE are open to all graduate students who are seeking or interested in obtaining the PhD, regardless of discipline. The focus of the services and programs is geared toward one of the goals of PROMISE: To increase the numbers and diversity of Maryland's graduate student population in sciences, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The services and programs of PROMISE will always reflect this goal. PROMISE seeks to increase diverse representation by designing programs that will successfully cultivate new students from diverse ethnicities; and facilitate retention, successful graduation through the PhD, and preparation for the professoriate.

IBP-STEM Program Specialists

Lloyd Douglas
Interim Director of Programs, Mathematical Association of America

Lloyd's experience includes his position as Associate Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to coming to UNCG, he was the Assistant to the Vice President for Research at the University of Nevada, Reno, after a long career as a Federal employee. Although that career had him work in a variety of disciplines, it began and ended with his being a mathematician, with the Naval Underwater Systems Center and the National Science Foundation, respectively. He has served, and still does, on an MAA committee and has been President of two organizations, the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association and the NSF Employees Association. Lloyd has a passion for enabling undergraduate research and was instrumental in expanding those opportunities when handling the REU program in the mathematical sciences. He has given numerous presentations at conferences for MAA, AMS and as an invited speaker at various universities and projects. He received his B.S. degree from the City College of New York in 1972 and his M.S. degree from Miami University in 1974.

Janet Branchaw
Interim Director, Institute for Biology Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Branchaw directs a NSF funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site program, the Integrated Biological Sciences Summer Research Program (IBS-SRP), and collaborates with the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching to offer mentor training to graduate students and post-docs. She is the coordinator an Undergraduate Biology Research Seminar for sophomores and teaches animal physiology in Biology 152 and Biocore 323. In addition, she works with the UW-Madison Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation (WiscAMP) team to increase diversity in STEM disciplines. Her past research expertise focused on areas of cellular neurophysiology and membrane biophysics. Currently, she studies the impact of undergraduate research experiences and the impact of mentor training on these experiences.

Karen Butler-Purry
Associate Provost for Graduate Studies; Professor - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University

Karen Butler-Purry is the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and professor of electrical and computer engineering.

She received her B.S. (summa cum laude) in Electrical Engineering in 1985 from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was awarded her M.S. degree in 1987 from the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1994 from Howard University in Washington, D.C. During her 17 years at Texas A&M University, Karen has served at all faculty levels, beginning with an initial appointment as visiting assistant professor of electrical engineering in 1994.

Her research interests are in the areas of computer and intelligent systems application to power distribution systems, distribution automation and management, fault diagnosis, estimation of remaining life of transformers, intelligent reconfiguration, system modeling and simulation for hybrid vehicles, and engineering education. She developed a successful research program securing over $4,000,000 in research funding as a principal investigator, and supervised and funded over 40 graduate and 65 undergraduate research students. She received the National Science Foundation Faculty Career Award (1995) and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award (1999). Also she secured over $10,000,000 in fellowship or education program funding and directed several of these programs that target recruitment, retention and advancement of pre-college, college, and graduate students in STEM fields.

She was Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering from 2001-2004 and Associate Department Head in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department from 2008-2010. In addition she has served in many capacities on committees for the college, university, and professional societies.

She has received numerous awards in including the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mentor Award for efforts to mentor students from underrepresented groups and for leadership in promoting PhD careers for them in electrical engineering and computer sciences.

Dr. Butler-Purry is a member of the Power Engineering Society, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Louisiana Engineering Society. She is a registered professional engineer in the states of Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

Michele Casella
Research Administrator, Nevada EPSCoR

Michele Casella is the Education, Outreach and Diversity Administrator (EOD) for the Nevada System of Higher Education Special Sponsored Programs Office (NSHE SSPO). In this role, she is responsible for ensuring that EOD activities are integrated throughout the three NSF EPSCOR projects currently funded in Nevada. Ultimately, she would like to work collaboratively with other research-based projects to provide continuity in STEM education and research and to build a more diverse STEM workforce.In 2002, Michele received a Bachelors of Science degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her formal education and professional experience working for state and federal agencies, as well as for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, has made Michele successful in planning, implementing and evaluating pathway programs for traditional and non-traditional students in a variety of different disciplines. As a native Nevadan, Michele takes pride in her community and is dedicated to fostering a nurturing environment for success in higher education and beyond into a strong economic workforce….AGAINST ALL ODDS!

Jill Singer
Professor, Earth Sciences and Science Education, SUNY Buffalo

Dr. Singer's areas concentration include environmental issues (local and global), sediment dynamics, coastal processes, and oceanography. Her on-going research includes: characterization of bottom morphology and sediment transport processes in the Buffalo River using side-scan sonar and sediment trend analysis, and environmental changes in Buffalo during the past century.

Dr. Singer is the also the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.

IBP-STEM Advisory Board

Shekhar Bhansali
Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Florida International University

Dr. Bhansali is the Alcatel-Lucent Professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Florida International University. A prolific researcher, Dr. Bhansali has 11 U.S. Patents, edited two (2) books and five (5) book chapters, and published over 70 journal papers and 100 conference papers. His research in the areas of bioengineering, oceanographic sensing, materials science, and alternative energy has received support from NSF, industry (SRI, Draper, and JCG), and national laboratories (Sandia and Los Alamos). He has also received a number of honors and recognitions on his research papers. During his tenure at USF, he has conceptualized and led a number of inter-connected interdisciplinary graduate student research and training programs, including NSF-IGERT, NSF Bridge to Doctorate and Alfred P. Sloan Doctoral Fellowship Programs to increase diversity, retention and graduation rates. Through these programs, he oversaw the education of over 150 graduate students with multiyear fellowships in colleges of Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Medicine. A direct outcome of these programs was that USF moved into the top 10 PhD degree producers for African Americans and Hispanics.

Dr. Bhansali has received numerous awards including the 2009 William R. Jones Outstanding Mentor Award from the Florida Education Fund, 2009 Mentor of the Year Award from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 2004 Outstanding Mentor Award from the McKnight Foundation, and 2003 NSF CAREER award. Dr. Bhansali is on the editorial boards of Recent Patents in Nanotechnology, and Technology and Innovation. He received his doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, his masters in Aircraft Production Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, India, and his bachelor’s degree with Honors in Metallurgical Engineering from the Malaviya National Institute of Technology in Jaipur, India.

Barbara Bruno
University of Hawai`i at Manoa

For most of my career, I have been splitting my time between geological research (planetary geology, volcanology) and science education. My research requires a lot of math; taking math courses was the best thing I did to prepare myself for a career in geology. Recently, I decided to take a break from research and work full-time on science education. I spend about half of my time doing K-12 education and outreach; the rest of the time is spent working with undergraduates and graduate students. Interacting with kids, teachers and the community is highly rewarding and enjoyable. I highly recommend it!!

David Ferguson
Distinguished Service Professor of Technology and Society and Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Stony Brook University

Dr. Ferguson is chair of the Department of Technology and Society. His research and teaching are intertwined and focus on issues of quantitative reasoning; problem solving; use and assessment of educational technologies; technology in mathematics, science and engineering education; and decision making. He has held many funded research and special projects. He co-directed the NSF-supported Algorithm Discovery Development Project and two NSF-funded faculty enhancement workshops on the teaching of introductory computer science courses. With support from the Sloan Foundation, he developed a course in Applications of Mathematics for liberal arts students. He also co-designed and co-taught a multidisciplinary course, jointly offered by Biological Sciences and the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, on Computer Modeling of Biological Systems. He was a co-PI on a multi-campus project, funded by NSF, on Mathematical Sciences and their Applications throughout the Curriculum. Currently, he is co-PI on two NSF-funded educational technology projects, MathThread and the Project on Innovative Approaches to Computer-Human Interfaces. He has received the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a New York State and national leader in programs to enhance the participation of underrepresented minority students in undergraduate and graduate science, mathematics, engineering, and technology programs. Dr. Ferguson was a member of the executive committee of the NSF- supported Recognition Award for the Integration of Research and Education (RAIRE). From 1998 until 2002, Dr. Ferguson directed Stony Brook’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).

Linda Hayden
Associate Dean of the School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Elizabeth City State University

Dr. Hayden holds a PhD in Mathematics and Education. She is presently the Associate Dean of the School of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Elizabeth City State University, and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER). The CERSER program works in partnership with federal agencies, other universities and private corporations on research projects which include CReSIS (focusing on radar and seismic mapping of rapidly changing glacier zones in polar regions for impact on global warming and sea level change). She is Principal Investigator on the NSF CyberInfrastructure from Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets project funded through the National Science Foundation Office of CyberInfrastructure CI-TEAM project. Dr. Linda Hayden was instrumental in establishing the Eastern North Carolina Chapter #03181 of the Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society and currently serves as president of that chapter.

Dr. Hayden was presented the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring by the National Science Foundation. She also received the Emerald Award for Educational Leadership in 2003 and the 2005 IEEE-USA Award for Professional Achievement, which acknowledges outstanding accomplishment in cultivating student interests in remote sensing and supporting both their involvement in and research presentations at IEEE-GRSS conferences.

In 2009 Dr. Linda Hayden was awarded the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher education (NAFEO) NOBLE Prize award at the 2009 NAFEO Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Shaik Jeelani
Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs, Tuskegee University

Dr. Shaik Jeelani, Ph.D., P.E., serves as the Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs at Tuskegee University. He joined Tuskegee University as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1974. He served in the College of Engineering from 1977 to 1996 as a faculty member, Assistant Dean, Associate Dean and Interim Dean.

As a Professor and administrator in the College of Engineering, Jeelani developed robust recruitment and retention programs that enabled the college maintain high enrollment and produce graduates of highest caliber. He initiated a research program in Materials Science and Engineering, which resulted in the establishment of the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL). The MRL was later transformed to the Center for Advance Materials (T-CAM), which still functions as the largest multidisciplinary research, education and outreach center at Tuskegee University. Jeelani raised more than $50 million for research at T-CAM during last 30 years.

Jeelani has authored/co-authored more than 700 publications including more than 300 papers in refereed journals and more than 400 technical presentations at national and international conferences. He has also co-authored several book chapters, in the field of Materials science and Engineering, with his colleagues.

In 1996, Jeelani was appointed as Tuskegee University's first Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs with a charge to facilitate the development and implementation of sponsored research and other programs that receive external support. He also has the responsibility of establishing and implementing policies governing the conduct and accountability for all research and other sponsored activities, and ensuring that all sponsored research projects comply with the local and federal guidelines.During Jeelani's tenure as the Vice President, both the annual funding for research and sponsored programs and the number of faculty submitting proposals to federal agencies and foundations have more than doubled.

Jeelani spearheaded the development and the implementation of Tuskegee University's first Ph.D. program in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), which was started in 1998. Tuskegee University is now recognized as the largest producer of African American PhDs in MSE.

In 2011 the Board of Trustees of Tuskegee University approved the establishment of the Department of MSE in the College of Engineering. Jeelani serves as the founding chair of this department, which houses both the Ph.D. and the newly approved Master's programs in MSE.

Jeelani holds membership in several professional organizations and serves on several national boards. Recently, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) elected him as a fellow, which is the highest honor the ASME bestows on its selected members.

Jeelani has won numerous awards including Tuskegee Teacher of the Year, Tuskegee Faculty Achievement, The UNCF Professor of the Year and SECME's Global Messenger Awards. In 2011 President Barack Obama presented him the Presidential Award for Mentoring.

Jeelani received the B.E. degree from Osmania University, India, the M.S. and the Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1971 and 1974, respectively. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Alabama.

Phil Kutzko
Director, National Alliance & Director, UI Sloan Scholarship Program, University of Iowa

Phillip Kutzko was a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring by President Obama at the White House on January 6, 2010! Congratulations Dr. Kutzko! - IBP Staff Under Phil Kutzko’s leadership the University of Iowa now produces more mathematics Ph.D.s from underrepresented groups than any other college in the country.

Kutzko was born and raised in New York City and is a product of the New York City public schools. He attended the City College of New York and received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Wisconsin. He joined the University of Iowa mathematics faculty in 1974. Kutzko’s research is in the area of pure mathematics known as the representation theory of p-adic groups, an area with applications to the theory of numbers. He is the author, with Colin Bushnell, of a monograph in the Annals of Mathematics Studies (Princeton) and has lectured widely on his work. He is presently a University of Iowa Collegiate Fellow.

Kutzko is honored to have played a pivotal role in the Department of Mathematics’ activities in minority graduate education and in the extension of these activities to other departments at the three Iowa Regents universities. In this context, he directs the departmental Sloan Foundation minority fellowship program as well as the NSF-funded Iowa AGEP program, a large-scale project to increase the number of underrepresented minority graduate students in science, technology, engineering and the mathematical sciences at the three Iowa Regents universities. As of August, 2005 Kutzko has joined the University of Iowa Graduate College as its Director of Graduate Ethnic Inclusion. In this position he hopes to extend the goals and practices of Iowa AGEP to graduate education at the UI.

Gabriel Lopez
Professor of Biomedical Engineering

My primary professional interests lie in research and education in biomaterials science and engineering, bioanalytical chemistry and biointerfacial phenomena. These areas are generally populated by researchers with formal training in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, biology and physics, and as such are inherently interdisciplinary and highly collaborative in nature. Our research group has worked to address problems across a number of fields. Highlights include bioinspired and biomimtic materials, biosensing and diagnostic systems, control of microbial interactions with materials, and analytical bioseparations.

Fernando Muzzio
Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University

Dr. Muzzio is a Distinguished Professor in Rutgers University's Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. His interests include mixing in reactive and multiphase flows, blending of dry powders, and applications of the fundamental concepts of chaos theory.

Raj Pandya
Director of the SOARS Program, UCAR

Dr. Raj Pandya holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric science, and has done research in both education and atmospheric science. He has been a college professor and researcher, and is currently the director of the SOARS Program. . He is also the director of the new Community Building Program. In these roles, Raj is responsible for contributing to workforce development, addressing diversity, and catalyzing research that serves historically neglected communities. Raj also serves as the coordinator for the UCAR Africa Initiative, building a sustainable partnership between UCAR and African Institutions in order to pursue meteorological research and applications for the benefit of the African people. Raj is a member of the editorial board for Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, has chaired several scientific sessions at national and international science meetings, and written scientific articles as well as materials aimed at the general public.

Oscar Schofield
Professor of Bio-Optical Oceanography, Rutgers University

I am a biological oceanographer, interested in understanding how the ocean physics and chemistry regulates plankton ecology. In turn, I am interested in how these plankton dynamics structure marine food webs and feeds back on the ocean’s biogeochemistry. I believe this is an important research topic as the oceans have shown dramatic changes in the recent decades and these changes will impact the Earth in many ways we do yet understand.

I have a two-pronged research approach for my work: First, I believe a mechanistic understanding of the phytoplankton cell biology is key to understanding their success in the ocean. Therefore I conduct laboratory experiments using genetic and biochemical techniques to understand the cellular physiology for the diverse phytoplankton taxa found in the oceans. Second, I believe we must go to sea to corroborate laboratory work with what is actually happening in the oceans. Unfortunately, the oceans are chronically under-sampled and therefore I believe new technologies must be used to study the ocean. These new technologies include satellites, radars, and ocean robots. These systems must be coupled to numerical food web models.

Featured Program!

The Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program

The Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program focuses on increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in astronomy, biology, chemistry, materials science and physics. Students work towards the Master’s degree at Fisk with the intention to enter a PhD program at Vanderbilt or elsewhere, with access to instructional and research opportunities at both institutions. Tuition, stipend, and medical insurance are provided. Click here to learn more and apply!

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