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Interdisciplinary Research Team Brings $1.2 Million NSF Study to UNM

MR

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that Regents' Professor Mario Rivera (UNM School of Public Administration - pictured right) and Postdoctoral student Dr. Rebecca Beals (UNM Institute for Social Research) are lead evaluator and co-evaluator respectively for an external assessment of the Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities/Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (WAESO/LSAMP) program at Arizona State University. The WAESO program seeks to foster a strong, diverse, and inclusive scientific and technological workforce through efforts at recruiting, retaining, and graduating scientists and engineers from historically underrepresented populations. There are project activities in student research, establishing peer networks, faculty as well as peer mentoring, research on the social context of science, and developing a culture of professionalism among undergraduate students interested in pursuing advanced degrees and academic careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The UNM evaluation team will also assess a social science and education research study required by NSF to be included as part of proposed activities funded ten or more years. That research study, designed and implemented by UNM researchers Dr. Roberto Ibarra (Sociology), Dr. Gary Weissmann (Earth and Planetary Sciences), and graduate student Michael Howland-Davis (Sociology), will be testing and documenting a widely-cited 'Context Diversity' learning/pedagogical model developed by Dr. Ibarra that could be used by similar programs nationwide.  Dr. Rivera, Dr. Ibarra, and Dr. Weissmann are designated Principal Investigators for this combined NSF subaward for the research and evaluation studies, which is to bring approximately $1.25 million in grant funds to UNM over five years.