NSF INCLUDES Alliance: The Alliance of Students with Disabilities for Inclusion, Networking, and Transition Opportunities in STEM (TAPDINTO-STEM)
Persons with disabilities are one of the most significantly underrepresented groups in STEM education and employment, comprising a disproportionately smaller percentage of STEM degrees and jobs compared to their percentages in the U.S. population. The NSF INCLUDES Alliance of Students with Disabilities for Inclusion, Networking, and Transition Opportunities in STEM, also known as the NSF INCLUDES TAPDINTO-STEM Alliance, will employ a collective impact approach with dozens of partnering organizations to increase the number of students with disabilities (SWDs) who complete associate, baccalaureate and graduate STEM degrees and enter the STEM workforce.
TAPDINTO-STEM is funded under the National Science Foundation's Eddie Bernice Johnson Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES) Initiative.
Auburn University is leading this national alliance, which includes six regional hubs across the country. Auburn will lead the Southeast Hub, and other hub lead institutions include Northern Arizona University (Mountain Hub), The Ohio State University (Northeastern Hub), the University of Hawaii-Manoa (Islands Hub), the University of Missouri-Kansas City (Midwest Hub) and the University of Washington (West Coast Hub).
The primary project work targets three objectives, two focused on students and the other on institutions: 1) Increasing the quantity of SWDs completing associate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees in STEM; 2) Facilitating the transitions of SWDs from STEM degree completion into the STEM workforce; and 3) Enhancing communication and collaboration among IHEs, industry, government, national labs, and local communities in addressing the education needs of SWDs in STEM disciplines.
Southeast Hub institutions include:
- Auburn University
- Auburn University Montgomery
- Alabama State University
- Columbus State University
- Middle Tennessee State University
- Southern Union State Community College
- Troy University
- Tuskegee University
- University of Tennessee
Auburn University project personnel include:
- Dr. Overtoun Jenda, Assistant Provost and Professor of Mathematics, Office of Special Projects and Initiatives (PI and Project Director)
- Dr. Daniela Marghitu, Faculty Coordinator, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering (Co-PI)
- Dr. Brittany McCullough, Program Analyst, Office of Special Projects and Initiatives (Co-PI)
- Dr. David Shannon, Humana-Germany-Sherman Distinguished Professor, Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology (Co-PI and Social Science Researcher)
- Dr. Caroline Dunn, Acting Associate Dean and Humana-Germany-Sherman Distinguished Professor, Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation and Counseling (Outreach Coordinator)
- Keri Hesson, Academic Programs Administrator, Office of Special Projects and Initiatives (Business Manager)
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