The Science of Diversity: Data-driven Solutions for Higher Education in STEM


Nilanjana Dasgupta, Professor and Director of Institute of Diversity Sciences, UMass Amherst. Social Vaccines:  Creating Community Drives Undergraduate STEM Persistence.

David Yeager, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin. Reducing Inequality by Targeting Faculty Practice: The Texas Mindset Initiative.

Audrey St. John, Associate Professor, Mt. Holyoke College. Engaging Computer Science Undergraduates through Inclusive Mentorship. 

Hannah Riley Bowles, Chair of Management, Leadership & Decision Sciences, Harvard Kennedy School.  Long-term impacts of a cohort model providing professional development training for underrepresented students in technology and engineering. 

Amy Weinstein, PACE Program Manager, UMass Boston, New Directions: On Campus Professional Apprenticeship and External Career Experience. 

Anis Abdulle, Assistant Co-op Coordinator, Khoury College of Computer Sciences, Northeastern University. Coops, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities for underrepresented STEM students.

Watch The Science of Diversity – The College Experience

Advancing Equity through STEM Research graphic

UMass Amherst Institute of Diversity Sciences

Our research-practitioner network brings together Researchers, Educators, Business Leaders, and Students (REBLS) from across Massachusetts to create solutions so that diverse populations can thrive in computer science and engineering -- both in their educational pathways and in the STEM workforce.
We also operate and support programs that help STEM students thrive from college to careers:

  • Twice a semester, we host a professional speaker series for students called "Creating Pathways to Social Good in your STEM Career"
  • We organize a 6-week summer online Leadership Academy for students traditionally under-represented in tech and engineering
  • We support the BRiDGE program, which hosts talks by scientists from diverse backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in STEM. Speakers present on their research and its broader impacts. The program is designed and run by graduate students in STEM and promotes their career development.

To discover more about the Institute for Diversity Sciences at UMass Amherst, please check out their page.

Science of Diversity Summit Survey

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June 29, 3:00-5:00 PM


Calls for increased attention to and investment in diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM are growing. But what do we know about the reforms that actually move the needle, opening gateways to rewarding employment and well-paid occupations?

The UMass Amherst Institute for Diversity Sciences and the University of Massachusetts Office of the President is sponsoring this zoom summit to explore impactful and evidence-based programs that have proven to increase the persistence and retention of under-represented minorities and women in STEM majors in universities and colleges.

By participating in affinity-based learning cohorts during critical period of the college experience, and mentoring relationships with near peers with similar identities, our speakers show that students became more attached to STEM, graduated at significantly higher rates in these fields, and developed more professional skills than matched groups of students who didn’t participate in these programs. We explore how students’ subjective experiences changed, which in turn impacted objective outcomes, and then consider how these insights could be valuable to other universities and colleges.

We then turn our attention to the characteristics of successful on ramps to industry. Speakers will discuss:

  • co-op programs at Northeastern University,
  • the Professional Apprenticeship and Career Experience (PACE) program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • a STEM professional development program developed by the Institute for Diversity Sciences at UMass Amherst in collaboration with the Harvard Kennedy School