The Arizona Technology Council today announced it has been selected by Arizona State University (ASU) to receive a portion of a $10 million National Science Foundation (NSF) Accelerate Latinx Representation in STEM Education (ALRISE) Alliance grant. ASU selected multiple technology trade associations across the country, including the Council, as grant recipients to help mobilize their in-industry membership to offer experiential work-based opportunities in STEM to Latinx students.
“Improving the access and impact of STEM education and experiential work-based opportunities is one of the key pillars of the Arizona Technology Council’s mission,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Council. “This is especially critical in underserved communities, where the opportunity for a STEM education expands career possibilities immensely. The Council is proud to join the ALRISE network and will work directly with our members to help create more opportunities for Latinx students to take part in internships, hands-on training and more.”
ASU’s ALRISE Alliance is funded by NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES), a comprehensive national initiative to enhance U.S. leadership in discoveries and innovations by focusing on diversity, inclusion and broadening participation in STEM at scale. The grant represents a nationwide effort to address the overarching broadening participation challenge to accelerate Latinx representation in STEM education with institutional intentionality and capacity building for experiential learning.
ASU’s vision for the Alliance is to drastically improve Latinx student retention and completion in STEM at two- and four-year Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and emerging HSIs (eHSIs). The Alliance aims to complete this goal by taking the following actions to deliberately change long-standing systems:
- Enabling campus environments to be intentional and culturally responsive to Latinx STEM students, not to the exclusion of others
- Placing the necessity to change on institutions and educators to harness Latinx students’ assets, strengths and resilience and create an environment that fosters reproducible success
- Mending the leaky pipeline where Latinx STEM retention and completion rates are significantly lower than enrollment
- Minimizing the current underrepresentation of Latinx in STEM job clusters
- Increasing the number of studies that are currently limited in STEM research on innovative pipelines for underrepresented students
“Our goal in bringing industry and educational leaders into the Alliance is to form a densely connected network of peers, a shared community and intentional coordination of the disparate efforts across individuals and organizations to drastically improve diversity and opportunity in STEM education and careers,” said Caroline VanIngen-Dunn, director, Center for Broadening Participation in STEM at ASU and principal investigator of the ALRISE Alliance. “The Council will play a critical role in connecting Latinx students with industry partners to facilitate more opportunities for work-based experiences in STEM fields while also enabling organizations to diversify their employment base.”
As outlined in its 2022 Public Policy Guide, the Council is heavily focused on creating opportunities to cultivate a diverse, equitable and statewide STEM ecosystem. Through STEM advocacy at the state and federal level, the work of the SciTech Institute and events and partnerships with member organizations, the Council is working towards long-term, shared, sustainable and flexible STEM missions that bridge, integrate and strengthen the learning opportunities offered by organizations across sectors instead of isolated, independent entities. This will result in the expansion of STEM business and education opportunities throughout rural and urban Arizona communities, fueling a strong, diverse talent pipeline prepared to meet the state’s anticipated growth.
To learn more about the ALRISE Alliance grant #2120021 and the National Science Foundation, please visit the NSF website at www.nsf.gov/.
About the Arizona Technology Council
The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, visionaries and community members to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit www.aztechcouncil.org.
Register for the Council’s upcoming Phoenix and Tucson tech events and Optics Valley optics + photonics events.