UArizona Program Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine Inspiring Programs in STEM Award

a group posing for a photo

ASEMS program staff, advisory board and faculty mentors.

Rocque Perez

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education, recently announced 79 programs – including one from the University of Arizona – as winners of its 2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award.

The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Alongside the other recipients, the winning UArizona program – Arizona's Science, Engineering and Math Scholars, or ASEMS – will be featured in the September issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.

"ASEMS works because we are culturally responsive and asset based," said ASEMS director Nura Dualeh. "Additionally, we have a dynamic team of STEM equity professionals, faculty partners and an advisory board who believe all our scholars have the potential to succeed in STEM."

ASEMS provides services to support students in graduating with a STEM degree, focusing on students who are underrepresented in STEM, such as first-generation college students, students from low-income households, those who transferred from community colleges, and students from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities and students with disabilities. The program is a partnership between two university units: Research, Innovation & Impact and Student Success and Retention Innovation.

ASEMS began as a grassroots effort among a small group of faculty and staff in 2011 with 12 students. It now supports more than 500 students across the university's STEM majors.

"The institutional significance of the ASEMS program goes beyond recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups into STEM fields," said Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation. "What’s exceptional about ASEMS is its holistic approach to those students, from facilitating mentorship, to honing communication skills, to supporting them in forming identities as researchers and future leaders in the workforce."

"We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication and mentorship for underrepresented students," said Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. "We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond."

For more information about the 2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award, visit the INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine website.

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