Announcing the 2022 Equitable Pathways Grantees

January 30, 2023

$5M investment in Minority Serving Institutions will support 21 partnerships to build equitable pathways into STEM graduate study for Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x students

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of 21 grants totaling over $5 million aimed at empowering innovative, systemic change-focused partnerships between Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and other educational institutions to build, expand, or enhance effective, equitable pathways into STEM graduate study by Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x students. These grants are the Foundation’s latest investment in an ongoing series dedicated to supporting MSIs, including 20 similar grants last year.

“This investment builds on the Sloan Foundation’s long history of supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences and engineering,” said Sloan President Adam F. Falk. “We're proud to continue supporting partnerships between MSIs and graduate programs across the country in an effort to strengthen graduate pathways for talented Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x students.”

MSIs are a federally defined category of higher education institutions either explicitly founded with a mission of educating students from historically marginalized groups or whose enrollment features a significant population of such students. Examples of MSIs include Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), which together enroll and graduate a large proportion of Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x students across the country.

“This investment is in recognition of MSIs’ long history of serving Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x students, and of cultivating STEM talent,” said Dr. Lorelle Espinosa, program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "The strength of our initiative lies in the dedicated faculty and administrators at MSIs and their partnering graduate programs, who not only recognize this history but want to make good on it for the benefit of their students, institutions, and the STEM enterprise at large.”

Though MSIs account for a large fraction of the undergraduate STEM degrees granted to Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x students, many remain under-resourced, contributing to disparities in STEM infrastructure, graduate education offerings, and research opportunities for their students and faculty, as compared to their predominately white institutional (PWI) counterparts. The 21 grants announced today seek to address that disparity through supporting partnerships between MSIs and graduate programs at other institutions that facilitate access for MSI undergraduates into graduate study and provide opportunities for graduate programs to learn from their MSI counterparts about what it means to truly invest in diverse talent. A related Sloan Foundation grant to the American Association for the Advancement of Science will provide a formal learning community for all Equitable Pathways grantees, allowing learning and sharing to occur across partnerships and providing professional development opportunities to project team members.

The grantees represent a diverse variety of MSIs across all regions of the U.S. and in the sovereign Tribal Nations. They include expansions of well-established programs and alliances, such as the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program and the Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions, as well as emerging partnerships like the Wellspring Coalition and the Distributed Teaching Collaborative. One partnership, led by Linda Hyman and the Marine Biological Laboratory, is now a two-time grantee through the Equitable Pathways program, and will receive seed money to further develop and support the launch of an innovative, consortium-based postbaccalaureate program.

A partnership between Clark Atlanta University and Pennsylvania State University, meanwhile, will receive additional funding from Arconic and Arconic Foundation, as part of the Sloan Foundation’s commitment to partnering with other funders seeking to make a long-term impact on diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM. “Creating systemic change in STEM higher education can’t be done by one institution acting alone,” said Espinosa. “Every institution needs to step up and do their part. We’re thrilled Arconic has joined us in our efforts.”

“Upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education is a matter of fundamental justice and our path to ensuring that the best science is done. These grants are part of our ongoing commitment to these ideals.”

Implementation Grantees

These grants provide $500,000 over 2-3 years for the creation, augmentation, or scaling of significant formal systemic change partnerships/collaborations.

PIs: Lisa Abston, Doris Espiritu, Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, Keri Michelle Niehans, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko
Institutions Involved: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Wilbur Wright College
Project: To develop an innovative postsecondary pathway to STEM graduate education for domestic Black, Latinx/a/o, and Indigenous students from Wilbur Wright College to UIUC

PIs: Nilanjana Dasgupta, Daniel Haehn, Neena Thota, Shannon Roberts, Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli
Institutions Involved: University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Boston
Project: To diversify pathways from undergraduate to graduate education in computer science and engineering at UMass Boston and Amherst through faculty and student professional development and inclusive mentoring

PIs: Ann Quiroz Gates, Anne-Marie Núñez, Patricia Morreale, Nayda Santiago, Enrico Pontelli, Mohsen Beheshti
Institutions Involved: University of Texas at El Paso, Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions
Project: To accelerate systemic change across Computing Alliance Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) to advance more Hispanic students into and through computing graduate programs

PIs: Clay Gloster, Godfrey Uzochukwu, Niroj Aryal
Institutions Involved: North Carolina A&T State University, Florida A&M University, Jackson State University, Louisiana State University, University of Florida, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Project: To engage Black American undergraduate students in research experiences and see them successfully enroll in and graduate from environmental science Ph.D. programs

PIs: Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Arnold Burger
Institutions Involved: Vanderbilt University, Fisk University
Project: To develop graduate certificate courses and a postdoc-to-faculty program in multimessenger astronomy as an expansion of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program

PIs: Chad Jenkins, Jessy Grizzle, Jasmine Jones, Dwayne Joseph, Todd Shurn, Wei Wu, Leia Stirling
Institutions Involved: University of Michigan, Morehouse College, Berea College, Howard University, Florida A&M University
Project: To launch nationally the Distributed Teaching Collaborative (DTC), which seeks to revolutionize MSI-to-R1 graduate pathways in robotics

Seed Grantees

These grants provide $250,000 over 1-2 years for the formalization of existing partnerships/collaborations seeking to pilot systemic change initiatives.

PIs: Amy Goldstein
Institutions Involved: Thurgood Marshall College Fund, University of Rochester, North Carolina A&T State University
Project: To create a scalable pathway for HBCU STEM students to enter graduate training in partnership with University of Rochester and North Carolina A&T State University

PIs: Linda Hyman, Veronica Martinez Acosta, Jennifer Morgan
Institutions Involved: Marine Biological Laboratory, University of the Incarnate Word, University of Puerto Rico - Río Piedras, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Morehouse School of Medicine, San Diego State University
Project: To support the launch of ENGAGE-Bio, an innovative MBL post-baccalaureate program in partnership with a small consortium of affiliated MSIs across the country known as MSI “Hubs”

PIs: Karen Lewis, Steven Whitten, Loren Hough, Christine Morrow
Institutions Involved: Texas State University, University of Colorado Boulder
Project: To leverage a multi-year, integrated research partnership training experience for Texas State University (TxSt) students to widen graduate pathways and foster systemic change at both TxSt and the University of Colorado, Boulder

PIs: Kristy Mardis, Joyce Ache Gana, Stephanie Gardner, Kris Acheson-Clair, Peristera Paschou
Institutions Involved: Chicago State University, Purdue University
Project: To establish a joint mentoring program that aims to reduce barriers to graduate education and facilitate systemic change across Chicago State and Purdue

PIs: Jason McLachlan, Antoinette Abeyta, Nievita Bueno Watts, Diana Dalbotten, Melissa Kenney, Georgia Smies
Institutions Involved: University of Notre Dame, Salish Kootenai College, California State Polytechnic Humboldt, University of New Mexico – Gallup, University of Minnesota, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Geoscience Alliance, Native FEWS Alliance, Ecological Forecasting Initiative
Project: To diversify and increase equitable access to Earth and Data Science graduate pathways for Indigenous students through collaborations with TCUs, MSIs, research universities, and professional organizations

PIs: Cheryl Sangueza, Theresa Melton, Kristin Wilson Grimes, Maria Barberena-Arias
Institutions Involved: University of Guam, University of the Virgin Islands, Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico
Project: To develop a set of curriculum for students and faculty that will improve access to graduate education across three island-based institutions

PIs: John Weishampel, Cyndia Morales Muniz, Shelia Amin Gutierrez de Pineres, Titi Ufomata, Natalia Toro
Institutions Involved: University of Central Florida, Florida International University, University of South Florida, Council of Independent Colleges
Project: To increase the numbers and success rates of Latina/o/x STEM graduate students through Florida’s Academic Consortium to Cultivate Engineering & Science Opportunities (ACCESO)

Planning Grantees

These grants provide $75,000 for internal reviews of existing barriers to student success and/or planning for future systemic change partnerships/collaborations.

PIs: Molly Atkinson, Adriana Corrales, Rebecca Weber
Institutions Involved: University of North Texas, Dallas College
Project: To analyze existing support structures for transfer students in Chemistry between the University of North Texas and Dallas College and develop actionable steps through collaborative design based on results of the analysis

PIs: Melissa Baird, Kathryn Hannum, Tamar Semerjian, Wayne Gersie
Institutions Involved: Michigan Technological University, San Jose State University
Project: To strengthen cross-institutional collaboration and support the development of a mentoring model that supports STEM student athletes to and through graduate education

PIs: Manjira Datta, Hina Arora
Institutions Involved: Arizona State University
Project: To expand the MyPath2ASU transfer pathway program to an M.S. in Economics in partnership with local Minority Serving Institutions

PIs: Christina Grozinger, Jared Gregory Ali, Natalie Boyle, Gary Felton, Torrence Gill, Patreese Ingram, Derek James, Hongmei Li-Byarley, Simon Zebelo
Institutions Involved: Pennsylvania State University, Central State University, Chowan University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Project: To establish a new, entomologically-focused research network, strengthening partnerships between Central State University, Chowan University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Pennsylvania State University

PIs: Rachel Johnson, Margaret Titus, Laurie Parker
Institutions Involved: University of Minnesota Morris, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Project: To establish a collaborative relationship between the University of Minnesota, Morris, and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences to increase the number of Native American students in graduate programs and pursuing careers in STEM

PIs: Pamela Leigh-Mack, Nasser Ghariban, Tremayne Waller, Bevlee Watford
Institutions Involved: Virginia State University, Virginia Tech University
Project: To facilitate a partnership between Virginia State University and Virginia Tech that can serve as a model for equitable, holistic HBCU-PWI partnerships

PIs: Ambika Mathur, Janis Bush, Craig Czarnecki, Saugata Datta, Martha Desmond, Amelia King-Kostelac, Rebecca Weston
Institutions Involved: University of Texas at San Antonio, Fort Valley State University, New Mexico State University
Project: To formalize a partnership between four MSIs and the US Fish and Wildlife Service focused on advancing equity in conservation and natural resources educational programs and professions

PIs: Michael Williams, Ishrat Khan
Institutions Involved: Clark Atlanta University, Pennsylvania State University
Project: To identify barriers that limit student interest and success in Materials Science and Engineering graduate education through exploration of a 4+1 program between Clark Atlanta University and Pennsylvania State University

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