Auburn’s Office of Special Projects and Initiatives selected by NSF to attend inaugural Dissemination Conference in Anchorage

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Auburn University's Office of Special Projects and Initiatives, led by Assistant Provost Overtoun Jenda, is one of nine groups invited to participate in the inaugural Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP, Dissemination Conference Jan. 17-20 at the University of Alaska in Anchorage.

The conference, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, will guide 90 university and other education professionals through ANSEP’s proven STEM education model and share insight into the program’s strategies and methods for improving the hiring patterns of minority students in the science and engineering fields. Participants will leave with a blueprint for building success in their own regions.

ANSEP was selected by the National Science Foundation to host a four-day, hands-on conference that will engage leaders from nine regional education groups from around the nation in ANSEP’s programmatic components. The NSF selected participants based on their proposals, and Auburn’s group was one of only nine selected.

Each selected group will be represented by 10 individuals who will return from the conference with tools to lead efforts to implement ANSEP’s proven methods for academic and career success in their local communities. Each team is comprised of leaders in education, including superintendents and principals from minority school districts in the team’s region, university executives, an organization development officer, donor organization representative, STEM coordinator, STEM university faculty member and students.

The Auburn University team includes representatives from the university, Bullock County Board of Education, Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Southern Company.

The Auburn University team will use the knowledge it gains to implement a pilot program at Bullock County Schools this summer. It will then replicate the program throughout the Alabama Black Belt using eight partner institutions under the umbrella of the NSF Greater Alabama Black Belt Region Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, or GABBR LSAMP, starting the summer of 2019. 

Attendees at the conference will represent Auburn University, Chicago State University, Clemson University, North Dakota Secretary of Education team, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Hawaii, University of Montana and University of Texas at El Paso.

"ANSEP continues to be successful at our mission to assist Alaska students in completing STEM degree programs and effect change in the representation of minorities in the workforce," said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. "We are proud to be a model for others around the country. At the end of the conference, we want every participant to understand the issues related to replication of ANSEP in their own community and move from planning to implementation of similar programs."

Since ANSEP’s inception in 1995, the University of Alaska has awarded 600 baccalaureate degrees to 600 Native scientists and engineers. With more than 2,500 students from sixth grade through doctorate degrees in the pipeline, ANSEP is transforming education across the state.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.