2021 STEM Talks: three-part STEM Equity Series

Title

STEM Equity Programs: PROMISE & EXCEL

Type

Presentation

Start Date

13-4-2021 3:30 PM

End Date

13-4-2021 4:30 PM

Description

The PROMISE and EXCEL programs focus on providing equity to STEM fields. PROMISE (Providing Opportunities for Mathematics and Science Enrichment) program is for students in 7th-9th grade students interested in STEM from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse (CLED) backgrounds. EXCEL serves as a bridging program for incoming sophomores many of whom are also CLED students. As the director of both programs, I will provide an overview of each program. The presentation will include a discussion of the history, current focus, as well as the successes and challenges that the programs have experienced. I will highlight the changes that have been initiated over the past 3 years including program expansion and plans for the future of each program.

Bio

Dr. Anita White currently serves as the PROMISE and EXCEL programs director at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA). She has been an educator for 15 years, the last 13 at IMSA. Prior to her career in education, she was a Senior Research Scientist in the pharmaceutical industry working in pre-clinical drug development. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry with a specialty in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago. At IMSA, she redesigned and taught the organic chemistry elective courses including the Survey of Organic Chemistry single semester hybrid course. Dr. White has been involved with the PROMISE program since beginning at IMSA. PROMISE is a pipeline program for culturally, linguistically and economically diverse (CLED) students in grades 7-9 with the goals of increasing these underrepresented groups at IMSA and in the STEM workforce. She initially served as the science teacher for the program but became the director in 2017. The program has more than doubled in size under her direction and she has successfully provided virtual summer and fall programs in response to the global pandemic. In her role as the EXCEL director, Dr. White works with faculty and staff to provide incoming IMSA students with academic support and additional resources to assist them in successfully navigating the challenges of IMSA’s unique living and learning community. EXCEL students attend a summer program and are provided a staff member as an advocate during the school year. In 2019, she initiated the EXCEL 2 program to provide similar support to rising juniors and seniors. She continually works to improve both programs by forming partnerships with alumni and other external stakeholders through national conference presentations and other networking opportunities.

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Apr 13th, 3:30 PM Apr 13th, 4:30 PM

STEM Equity Programs: PROMISE & EXCEL

The PROMISE and EXCEL programs focus on providing equity to STEM fields. PROMISE (Providing Opportunities for Mathematics and Science Enrichment) program is for students in 7th-9th grade students interested in STEM from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse (CLED) backgrounds. EXCEL serves as a bridging program for incoming sophomores many of whom are also CLED students. As the director of both programs, I will provide an overview of each program. The presentation will include a discussion of the history, current focus, as well as the successes and challenges that the programs have experienced. I will highlight the changes that have been initiated over the past 3 years including program expansion and plans for the future of each program.