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STEM conference to include award-winning journalist’s insights for educators seeking coverage for diversity efforts



INDIANAPOLIS — Higher-education practitioners and administrators engaged in promoting diversity within STEM degree programs and workplaces should mark their calendars and register for the third annual Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence conference.

The Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence, based on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, will host its annual conference Oct. 24 – 25 at the Wyndham Indianapolis West hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

More than 300 STEM faculty, administrators and students from across the country are expected to attend the two-day gathering. The event provides a forum to consider and discuss broadening the participation of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and math degrees and careers.

Special guest speakers for the event, themed “Accelerating Diversity along the STEM Pipeline,” include award-winning reporter Jamaal Abdul-Alim, a frequent writer for Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

Abdul-Alim will deliver the conference’s keynote lunch address from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. His presentation, titled “How to Make the Most of Media Exposure: Getting Your Stories Told and Voices Heard,” is designed to inspire and guide higher-education STEM faculty, administrators and student leaders regarding media exposure for their diversity efforts.

“Jamaal has a deep understanding about the communication issues that challenge STEM faculty and higher-education administrators,” said Kim S. Nguyen, co-principal investigator for the Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence. “He will offer practical tips and insights on how university administrators can reach out to reporters in order to ensure fair and accurate coverage of the topics and issues of concern to the future of America’s higher-education enterprise. A special emphasis will be placed on diverse populations.”

“The 2015 Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence conference offers higher-education faculty and administrators an outstanding opportunity, funded by the National Science Foundation, to interact with experienced leaders across the nation who are known in STEM teaching, student learning, research mentoring and institutional support programming for underrepresented minority groups,” Nguyen said.

Abdul-Alim is one of three keynote speakers for the conference. Mary Howard-Hamilton, Indiana State University professor of higher education leadership, will deliver the opening keynote address, “Accelerating Diverse Talent along the STEM Pipeline,” at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24.

Tasha R. Inniss, associate professor of mathematics at Spelman College and co-lead program director of Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, will present Sunday’s keynote address, titled “National Science Foundation Updates and Bridge to the Doctorate Program Highlights,” at 8:15 a.m. Oct. 25.

The conference will also showcase STEM research by more than 80 underrepresented minority students from across the country, including three IUPUI undergraduate researchers.

Senior Sarah Scott, junior Morrent Thang, and senior Kimberly Ho-A-Lim, all Purdue School of Science students at IUPUI, will present research projects during the poster session.

In addition to the keynote speeches and the poster session, the conference will include interactive workshops, breakout sessions, oral presentations from STEM doctoral candidates, a STEM student career fair and a discussion panel.

Registration for the opening day of the conference, including the luncheon, is $100. Conference registration is $200 for both days, through Oct. 15. The cost is $300 for registration on Oct. 16 or later.

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