Rollins College has been awarded an Inclusive Excellence 3 (IE3) grant totaling $529,500 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), making the College one of 104 institutions across the nation to be recognized for its plan to build a more equitable future for burgeoning scientists. The six-year grant will support the College’s efforts to foster inclusivity and belonging for those historically underrepresented in the sciences.
Over the past six years, HHMI has awarded more than $60 million in funding to institutions committed to building more inclusive practices in their STEM programs. With this grant, Rollins becomes a member of one of seven Learning Community Clusters, which are integral to the collaborative IE3 approach.
“Sustaining advances in diversity and inclusion requires a scientific culture that is centered on equity,” says Blanton Tolbert, HHMI’s vice president of science leadership and culture. “In science education, increasing the number of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds must go hand in hand with creating inclusive learning environments in which everyone can thrive.”
The project connects faculty and students from the chemistry, biology, and physics departments to transform the introductory experience of Rollins STEM students. Using a data-driven approach, a student advisory panel will help faculty develop and implement equitable scientific practices and curriculums in the classroom.
“We’re excited about the achievement-oriented projects we’re proposing to build a stronger STEM community at Rollins and instill in all students a sense of belonging,” says chemistry professor Kasandra Riley, who serves as the grant program director.