VWU Receives 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award

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VWU’s Environmental Institute: Summer Scholars program selected for national recognition by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine


University News | August 17, 2020

Virginia Wesleyan University’s Environmental Institute: Summer Scholars program has received the 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Virginia Wesleyan will be featured, along with 49 other recipients, in the September 2020 issue of the magazine.

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.

VWU’s Environmental Institute: Summer Scholars is a week-long residential environmental science program designed for top-performing, rising ninth-grade girls. Participants take part in authentic environmental science, technology, engineering, and math (E-STEM) experiences alongside environmental science professionals in academia, industry, business, government, and non-profit organizations in order to better understand the vast amount of opportunities for women in E-STEM fields to make a positive difference in the world.

“Our award-winning program is a tribute to people and programs that encourage and inspire a new generation of young people to consider STEM careers,” said Virginia Wesleyan University President Scott D. Miller. “Special thanks to Dr. Bill McConnell, Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Teacher Education Program, for his exceptional leadership, and to Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Nursing and Allied Health, and Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and Director of Campus Sustainability, for their collaborative effort in leading this impactful program.”

 “We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication, and mentorship for underrepresented students,” says 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 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit insightintodiversity.com.