November 4, 2021 

HACU convenes planning meeting to strengthen STEM talent pipeline at HSIs

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities convened a three-day planning meeting on Nov. 1-3, 2021, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to advance the conversation around Hispanic graduate student success in STEM. The event brought together partnering institutions under the NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant: A Collaboration of Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Organizations to Strengthen Pathways to STEM Graduate Education for Hispanic Students.

In February 2021, HACU announced it was awarded an NSF grant and its plan to lead regional meetings across the country to engage HSI leaders, practitioners, faculty, and national organizations in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in order to strengthen the educational and workforce pathways for producing the next generation of Hispanic STEM research leaders in academia, industry, and government.

The meeting in New Mexico provided an opportunity for institutions to collaborate further on the planning of the STEM initiative. Participants attended eight sessions of discussion and information exchange on STEM-related initiatives at their campuses. Participants represented many segments of the higher education sectors, including two-year, four-year, public undergraduate institutions, and doctoral granting universities, including R1 institutions. The outcomes of this planning grant are expected to lay the foundation for the implementation of future research and programmatic strategic initiatives at scale among HSIs nationally.

HACU staff participating in the meeting included Lisa Alcorta, Ph.D., senior vice president for programs and operations, John Moder, Ph.D., senior consultant for STEM programming and Sonia Martinez, executive director of STEM programs. Working in collaboration with the HACU staff, the coprincipal investigators Marla A. Franco, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, and Barbara Endemaño Walker, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, led and facilitated the discussions with the partner institutions.