Albany State University has been chosen through a national competition sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities to participate in Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future (PCFF), a project that supports women of color faculty in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) disciplines in becoming strong academic and administrative leaders, both on campus and within their respective disciplines. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP). The 13 institutions selected represent many different types—including two-year and four-year, public and private institutions.
Dr. Louise Wrensford, chair of the Department of Natural Sciences, and Dr. Rhonda Porter, associate professor of mathematics, will participate in all phases of the project along with colleagues from the other participating institutions. These two faculty members will also be joined by a larger team of individuals from ASU who will attend an AAC&U summer institute in July 2012 on “Engaging Departments.” ASU faculty members chosen to attend the summer institute include Dr. Joyce Y. Johnson, dean of the College of Sciences and Health Professions; Dr. Denise Bacchus, assistant professor of social work; and Dr. Janis Carthon, director of instructional technology in the College of Education.
“The faculty members participating in this project include many talented individuals who will be leaders both in their institutions and nationally in the coming years,” said AAC&U Senior Scholar and project director, Alma Clayton-Pedersen. “Through this initiative, we hope to provide support to a network of scholars and teachers who can help each other and the rest of the nation as we all seek to enhance undergraduate STEM education for students at HBCUs and at all different kinds of colleges and universities, especially those historically underserved.”
The goals of the PCFF project are to: provide professional and leadership development for women of color faculty in STEM disciplines, or NSF natural and behavioral science disciplines; and improve undergraduate STEM education at HBCUs and beyond. This project will provide participants with the opportunity and the financial support to engage in and influence the national dialogue on improving undergraduate STEM education. Project participants will both contribute to and gain from national efforts to develop and implement innovative STEM teaching and learning practices and effective curricular change strategies. By uncovering useful strategies for preparing women of color faculty for academic leadership in STEM fields, PCFF expects to benefit STEM education broadly as well as at HBCUs.
In addition to ASU, other institutions chosen to participate in PCFF are Alabama State University, Montgomery, Ala.; Benedict College, Columbia, S.C.; Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Coppin State University, Baltimore, Md.; Dillard University, New Orleans, La.; Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Fla.; Morgan State University, Baltimore, Md.; Paine College, Augusta, Ga.; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas; Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, Baton Rouge, La.; Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas; and Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.
This initiative is supported with a grant from the National Science Foundation. For additional information about the project, see http://www.aacu.org/pcff.