Harvey Mudd Joins STEMM Opportunity Alliance

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Harvey Mudd College has joined the STEMM Opportunity Alliance, a new initiative to make equity in science fields a national priority and transform the American STEMM ecosystem.

The initiative is led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), with the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and partners from philanthropy, industry, education, research and community organizations.

President Maria Klawe was invited to speak about Harvey Mudd’s efforts to increase diversity in STEM at the launch of the alliance at the White House Summit on STEMM Equity and Excellence, hosted by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on Dec. 12 in Washington, D.C.  Klawe was one of four panelists invited to highlight promising practices underway at their institutions for building a more equitable STEMM ecosystem.

““We start every intro class by telling the class the course is challenging, and that every student who works hard and asks for, and takes help, will succeed,” Klawe told the summit participants. “That’s really important. Because STEM is challenging. It’s rigorous. It’s relevant. And you can make it joyful, but you have to work hard. We also continuously celebrate our cultural value that every person, every student, every faculty member, every staff member is responsible for the success of every other person.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to eliminating systemic barriers to participation in STEMM and ensuring that all of the American public can contribute to and benefit from science and technology,” the OSTP wrote on their website about the event.

“The diversity of its people is America’s global competitive advantage,” the OSTP wrote. “As critical, transformative new science and technology investments in education, research and workforce begin to take shape, the United States has an historic opportunity to meet President Biden’s Day 1 call to advance equity for people who have been historically underserved and leverage this once-in-a-generation moment to power a more just, inclusive, and competitive science and technology ecosystem.”

Harvey Mudd College is committed to increasing diversity in STEM and has made great progress over the past 15 years, moving from 30% female students in 2006 to 50% in 2022 (as well as graduating majority female classes in CS, Engineering and Physics during that time); from under 1% Black or African American to 7%; and from 5% Hispanic to over 20%. The College has been sharing best practices in innovative STEM education so that they may be replicated to improve outcomes for other educational institutions.

View the recorded livestream of the White House Summit on STEMM Equity and Excellence.