UAH NSF grant South East Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in STEM

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New UAH NSF grant will make it possible to better serve students with disabilities in STEM fields.

UAH

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is one of ten state institutions of higher learning to share a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for students with disabilities.

The South East Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (SEAPD-STEM) has been selected by NSF to receive funding for a pilot project under the Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES), effective October 2016. The program is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in STEM discoveries and innovations focused on NSF's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and broadening participation in these fields. It is a special new effort for NSF that is listed as one of its 10 Big Ideas for Future Investments. SEAPD-STEM builds on the success of the Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM (AASD-STEM), an NSF-funded collaboration.

"I am excited that Auburn University, under the leadership of Dr. Overtoun Jenda, was successful in attaining this award. Because of this partnership, UAH will be able to better serve students with disabilities in STEM. Serving these students and increasing their likelihood of academic success adds to the diversity of the workforce in Alabama," said Dr. Emanuel Waddell, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science. Waddell also serves as the Site Coordinator for the UAH SEAPD-STEM program.

Since 2009, AASD-STEM has provided academic and social support for over 200 students with disabilities in STEM majors through peer and faculty mentoring, research internships, group meetings, annual conferences, and student support organizations.

The goals of SEAPD-STEM are:

  1. Increase the quality and quantity of persons with disabilities completing associate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees in STEM disciplines and entering the STEM workforce, especially among minorities, veterans, and women.
  2. Increase the quality and quantity of post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty with disabilities in STEM fields.
  3. Improve academic performance of students with disabilities in secondary level science and mathematics courses.
  4. Enhance communication and collaboration among post-secondary institutions, industry, government, national labs, and community in addressing the education of students with disabilities in STEM discipline.
  5. Assess our activities to understand what works to support the matriculation and retention of STEM students with disabilities in science followed by broad dissemination through workshops, conference presentations, webinars, and peer-reviewed publications.

Participating Alabama institutions include:

  • Alabama A&M University
  • Alabama State University
  • Auburn University
  • Auburn University Montgomery
  • Bishop State Community College
  • Southern Union State Community College
  • Troy University
  • Tuskegee University
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Contact

Dr. Emanuel Waddell
emanuel.waddell@uah.edu

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