UMass NEXT Summits

  • The Science of Diversity Zoom Summit
  • June 29 3:00-5:00 PM
  • June 30 3:00-5:00 PM

UMass Next Summits graphic

National concern for equity in higher education and in the workplace has grown rapidly as the country reckons with the consequences of racial disparities.   

The UMass Amherst Institute for Diversity Sciences and the University of Massachusetts Office of the President are sponsoring two Zoom summits – one focused on the college experience (June 29, 3-5 pm) and one on career trajectories (June 30, 3-5pm) – that explore solutions that demonstrably increase the persistence and retention of under-represented minorities and women in STEM education and industry. 

You are cordially invited to join us – and our sponsors, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable – to hear more about “What Works.”

Promoting student diversity and success in STEM: What’s Working?

June 29, 3:00-5:00 PM

Agenda

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

Join us to learn “What’s Working!”

Promoting student diversity and success in STEM: What’s Working?

June 29, 3:00-5:00 PM

Industry Initiatives that Work to Promote STEM Diversity

June 30, 3:00-5:00 PM

Agenda

STEM careers are among the most fulfilling occupations, especially in a knowledge economy like the Commonwealth. Indeed, in the pandemic moment, we are all aware of the critical importance of science in pulling us through a period of peril.

The UMass Amherst Institute for Diversity Sciences and the University of Massachusetts Office of the President, is sponsoring this zoom summit to explore impactful programs and initiatives that attract, retain, and advance into leadership, professionals in STEM careers from under-represented groups. We pay special attention to the early career period when there is greatest risk for attrition and highlight successful efforts to advance the careers of women and minorities into management roles. The program will feature presentations from colleagues at Dell Technologies, Intel, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Gingko Bioworks, and Github.

The focus is on solutions that are moving the needle: increasing the presence, visibility and influence minority and women workers. Researchers from UMass Amherst and Harvard Business School will discuss differences in organizational structure, recruitment practices, patterns of access to consequential work, and other workplace practices that demonstrably matter in improving outcomes.

Industry Initiatives that Work to Promote STEM Diversity

June 30, 3:00-5:00 PM

Next: Frontiers in Applied Science

Applied Sciences

At the University of Massachusetts—the Commonwealth’s public research university—internationally renowned researchers are at work in labs from Boston to the Berkshires. In the applied sciences, UMass is one of the largest research enterprises in the state, playing a crucial role in promoting economic growth and job creation in industries that are key to the Commonwealth’s prosperity.

Advanced Manufacturing

The human impact of all other fields of applied science depends, in the end, on advanced manufacturing. Every translational innovation requires something—a smart device, a novel material, a drug molecule—to be produced reliably, safely, and affordably at scale. Making that happen is the domain of manufacturing scientists and engineers.

Aerospace, Defense, Undersea Technologies, and Remote Sensing

The Internet. Global Positioning Systems. Drones. Much of the most world-changing, ubiquitous technology to emerge over the past 50 years has sprung from research sponsored by the Department of Defense and NASA in partnership with academic institutions like UMass.

Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Data Science

Advances in computer science, with their almost limitless applications, are enabling a societal transformation. Artificial intelligence, robotics, and data science extend our brain and body power in ways that promise broad impacts across all areas of applied science and human endeavor, from medicine to manufacturing to municipal services. These technologies have the potential for great human benefit—potential that is quickly becoming a reality.

Precision Health

As the COVID-19 pandemic made clear, disease risk and severity differ from person to person, each individual’s outcomes shaped by his or her unique mix of genetics, lifestyle, and environment. Precision health posits that healthcare should be shaped by this mix as well. Its emergence is a revolutionary moment, when medicine based on averages gives way to treatments tailored for each of us.

Sustainability and Climate Resilience

Extreme weather. Sea-level rise. Food and water shortages. Climate change is challenging our region, nation, and world on an unprecedented scale. Science is exposing the sobering extent of these problems, but also revealing solutions — opportunities to create a future that is not just low-carbon, but also equitable and even profitable, built around a robust sustainable economy and quality of life.