GVSU joins national alliance to develop inclusive, diverse STEM faculty

Grand Valley joins 18 other institutions within a national alliance to develop inclusive teaching practices and increase diversity among STEM faculty members over a three-year period. 

Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty is co-led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the University of Wisconsin-Madison with funding from the National Science Foundation. The new cohort of 19 institutions is Aspire's third cohort.

Christine Rener, vice provost for Instructional Development and Innovation and director of the Pew FTLC, said the goals of the Aspire Alliance fit Grand Valley's mission for inclusive excellence.

"Increasing the recruitment and persistence of underrepresented students in STEM fields begins with sharpening our inclusive teaching practices and improving the diversity of faculty members," Rener said. "By participating in the Aspire Alliance, we will learn about the evidence-based best practices from other institutions and have opportunities to participate in professional development."

An article in Forbes outlines the goals of the Aspire Alliance.

Felix Ngassa, chemistry professor, teaches a class during the first week of the fall semester.
Chemistry professor Felix Ngassa teaches in front of a class during the first week of the fall semester.
Amanda Pitts
Laurie Witucki, professor of chemistry, teaches a class remotely from her office.
Chemistry professor Laurie Witucki teaches a class remotely from her office.
Amanda Pitts

The other institutions in the new cohort are Appalachian State University; California Polytechnic State University; Jackson State University; Lehigh University; Louisiana Tech University; Mississippi State University; Pennsylvania State University; Stevens Institute of Technology; Temple University; The Ohio State University; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Denver; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; University of Pittsburgh; Utah State University; and Virginia Tech.

Participating universities will begin their work with a self-assessment of current practices and assets. The institutions will then develop and implement campus action plans to drive change and scale such efforts across all their STEM programs.

Learn more about the Aspire Alliance online.