The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) recently hosted ten schools from across the country for an intensive two-day workshop environment called the “Diversity Summit.” The educator teams were first presented with the latest best practices by experts in recruiting/retaining under-served student populations, then worked with those experts to develop concrete, focused diversity action plans. The goal is that those action plans, when implemented over the next 12 months, will provide compelling evidence that persuades each team’s school administrators to “institutionalize” the plan and make it a permanent strategy.
The teams heard presentations from Serita Acker, the director of PEER/WISE student service program at Clemson University; Mercedes Adams, director of NetApp’s Academic Alliance and Guiding Coalition programs; Andres Diaz, director of the Puerto Rico Photonics Institute; Matt Glover, CTO of Le-Vel and the long-standing chair of the CTC’s own National Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT); Laura Nicholas, Senior Communications Advisor at IBM; Beth Quinn, a research scientist from NCWIT (the National Center for Women and Information Technology); and Pamela Silvers, IT instructor at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and Principal Investigator for a National Science Foundation project entitled Skilled Workers Get Jobs 2.0: Appalachian Impact.
The “Diversity Summit” kicked off with special welcome remarks from Dr. Celeste Carter, Program Director for the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). The National CTC is funded by a grant from the NSF.
The event was a smash success: team members were energized and the group discussions and team collaborations exceeded the CTC’s high expectations. Over the next few weeks, we plan to use this blog to share more specifics about the resources and strategies discussed at the Diversity Summit.