For the second time in its short history, TCU’s STEM Scholar Program has been recognized with an Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. Winners of the 2021 national award were selected based on their efforts to inspire and encourage students from underrepresented groups to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math through mentoring, teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives. TCU first won the award in 2019.
“It has been a blessing to create this program here at TCU and to work with such amazing students,” said Zoranna Jones, director of the STEM Scholar Program and assistant dean for Student Success & Community Engagement for the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. “They are leaders, innovators and overall brilliant people who have made an impact inside and outside the classroom and definitely on the TCU campus. This is truly an inspiring program in STEM.”
Launched in 2018, TCU’s STEM Scholar program seeks to increase the number of the best and brightest students from underrepresented populations who pursue degrees in STEM fields, along with supporting the nation’s goal of diversifying the STEM workforce. The program currently features 27 total scholars. Covering the full cost of attendance for four years, this academic scholarship program provides academic support and enriches the TCU learning experience while bringing diverse populations together.
Students from 16 North Texas counties are eligible for the program, which has established partnerships with career readiness counselors, Go Center advisers, AVID programs and high school counselors to help identify potential program participants.
To help new STEM Scholars prepare for their upcoming college experience, TCU offers a four-week summer enrichment program that includes an Intro to Scientific Thinking course, daily personal leadership and professional development workshops and on-campus employment.
Throughout the academic year, students engage in academic advising, tutoring, academic workshops and student, faculty and staff mentor relationships. A career consultant provides resources for career exploration, internships and job placement and students attend résumé writing, interviewing and networking workshops. In addition, students have the chance to participate in undergraduate research, educational travel and study abroad opportunities.
“In the spring of 2022, we will honor our inaugural STEM Scholars as they complete their undergraduate study at TCU,” Jones said. “With 100% retention and all scholars on track to graduate in four years, we will celebrate these students and their many accomplishments at TCU, in and out of the classroom. This program has truly become transformative – both for our campus and for the scholars.”
A university-wide Inclusive Excellence initiative, the STEM Scholar Program is supported by TCU’s College of Science & Engineering, College of Education, Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Neeley School of Business, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, TCU Student Identity & Engagement, Office of Admission, Center for Career & Professional Development, Office of Scholarships & Student Financial Aid, Office of the Provost and the Office of the Chancellor. A new partnership with the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine creates a pipeline for students interested in the medical field.
TCU’s STEM Scholar Program is among 79 award recipients featured in the September 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
“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.”