Building on its tradition of collaboration with MSU's College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
, and the Drew Science Enrichment Laboratory (Drew)
programs, and on the efforts of the Briggs Multiracial Alliance (BMA)
to foster a welcoming community, Lyman Briggs is finding new ways to support its diverse student body.
Creating Inclusive Excellence (CIE):
LBC faculty are now undertaking three CIE projects with the support of MSU's Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives.
Since 2008, LBC has been assessing and revising its curricula to ensure that students entering LBC with lower math preparation are better supported and retained in STEM majors. The Biology and Chemistry faculty now offer an interdisciplinary course every fall that provides these students with curricular enrichment and greater faculty contact during their first semester on campus, and ease their transition into other LBC science and math courses.
Starting in fall 2010, LBC is offering an Undergraduate Research Experience in Mathematics (UREM), a year long program that provides research experience in mathematics for a diverse cohort of undergraduate students. UREM provides a platform that simulates the experience of graduate training in the mathematical sciences at an early stage and will help students be competitive for summer REU programs and internships. Students work on research projects, attend colloquia and present their work at local, regional, and national mathematics conferences.
Starting in fall 2010, a team of HPS and STEM faculty is offering a new course on Diversity in Science that includes student research on the tangible impacts of inclusion. In November, the students organized a day-long science workshop for K-12 students from the Lansing Boys and Girls Club. Drawing on course readings about science education, they created fascinating hands-on activities to teach topics ranging from the inner workings of a cell to the mechanisms for cleaning up oil spills in coastal waters -- and the visitors were enthralled. Briggs students who have just finished taking this course will be invited to lead presentations and discussions on inclusive excellence in STEM with incoming LBC freshmen during Fall Welcome.
Supporting Degree Completion of Science Students with Financial Need:
In spring 2009, LBC was awarded a $600k NSF S-STEM grant designed to support recruitment and retention through degree completion of a diverse cohort of students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Briggs is now partnering with the MSU Office of Financial Aid to administer 3 year scholarships to over two-dozen LBC students. Recipients also benefit from participating in regularly-scheduled activities providing a wide-ranging introduction to opportunities in science, such as seminars, mentoring and internship opportunities. In summer 2010, Briggs applied for a second S-STEM grant to enable another cohort of students to participate, and we are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the proposal.
Summer Research Opportunities for Diverse Student Cohorts:
The LBC mathematics faculty partner each summer with the MSU Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, the National Research Experience for Undergraduates program of the Mathematical Association of America, and the National Security Agency to offer a 6-week research program to a diverse cohort of undergraduate students from MSU and other universities. Such experiences have been shown to greatly encourage undergraduates to persist in completing degrees in STEM fields and pursue graduate studies or careers in science.
MSU ADVANCE/ADAPP Project
Lyman Briggs College is participating in MSU's current initiative "Advancing Diversity through Alignment of Policies and Practices", which is funded by a 5-year grant from the National Science Foundation. As part of this effort, LBC faculty and staff have been striving to make our searches for new colleagues as open and inclusive as possible. In spring 2008, new language was drafted for our advertisements to make clear that working with diverse student populations is a key part of Lyman Briggs; this has been used as a model by the MSU Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. A faculty meeting focused on diversity issues in winter 2008 led to the creation of a web page with resources about inclusive searches. In spring 2009, the faculty wrote an explicit description of the teaching portfolio required as part of faculty job applications, to ensure that all candidates understand what is expected. All of these tools are proving valuable in our searches for new faculty and academic staff.
Other LBC, Holmes Hall, and MSU Resources on Inclusion
Briggs Multiracial Alliance
- Promotes a multiracial community of scholars and learners within Lyman Briggs College.
Campus Resources on Inclusion
- A comprehensive list maintained by MSU's Office of Inclusion.
Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives
- OIII serves as an institutional focal point for promoting inclusion and diversity at Michigan State University. In addition to providing leadership and support for university-wide initiatives on inclusive excellence, a staff of experts work diligently to facilitate and support a campus environment that provides students, faculty, and staff with opportunities for excellence.
- This organization seeks to unite LGBT residents and allies in MSU's East Complex (Akers, Holmes, Hubbard, McDonel Halls and Owen Hall) to help meet their social, educational, and cultural needs.
Women in Science
- An LBC-sponsored website that offers scholarly resources on the history of women in science.