Page 1


Contents

2

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity


FEATURES

Summer 2016

6

Issue 1, Vol. 1

STEM

A vision for increasing representation of women and minorities

10

Juliet Stipeche

From Rice Undergrad to Politics

14

UTRGV Professor

22

R-GEM

MarĂ­a Cristina Villalobos Rice M.S. & Ph.D. in Computational & Applied Mathematics

Rice Graduate Education for Minorities

27 TMSS

Tapia Math-Science Scholars Summer Math Camp

DEPARTMENTS 4 Letter from the Director 18 Tapia Center Partners R-GEM Student Kimberly Mendoza enjoys a sunny afternoon on campus.

26 R-GEM: Rice Graduate Education for Minorities

Photo courtesy of Tapia Center at Rice University

Magazine Design by:

30 Tapia Talks: Gender Equity vs. Minority Equity Tapia - The Magazine for Excellence & Equity is made possible by:

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

3


From the Director Welcome to the premier issue of Tapia.

T

he Tapia Center at Rice University is engaged in a variety of projects; all with a focus on furthering the education of women and minorities in STEM fields. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are challenging fields of study that will be essential for excelling in jobs of the future. In this issue, we highlight a former Rice student who earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics. MarĂ­a Cristina Villalobos was an exceptional student who is currently the Interim Director of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). She is also the founding director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education at UTRGV. We also highlight a former Rice undergraduate, Juliet Stipeche, who earned three undergraduate degrees with honors and then went on to earn a law degree from The University of Texas. As a first-generation, Hispanic woman, no one would have predicted that she would eventually rise to become president of the largest school board in Texas and then be appointed Director of Education for the City of Houston. It is also fitting to show off our Tapia Math-Science Scholars (TMSS) Summer Math Camp in this issue, because Juliet founded the program before being taken from Rice by the new mayor of Houston. This four-week math content camp is highly competitive and is open to high school juniors and seniors especially those from underrepresented ethnic groups. Tapia, the magazine, promises to be an exciting step in a new direction leading an expansion of programs by the Tapia Center. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we had producing it! Regards, Richard

4

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity


Team Tapia Center Richard Tapia Ph.D.

Linda Torres B.A.

Leticia Velasquez Ph.D.

Rebecca Tapia J.D.

Jaime Rodriguez M.S.M.

Rice Student Interns: Melinda Crane Ronal Infante Tapia Center Intern: Nikki Garcia

Tapia Center STEERING COMMITTEE Chair: Nicolas Medina Ping Sun Carolina Baker Sofia Adrogue Geraldine Wise Jose Aranda

Contact the Tapia Center www.tapiacenter.rice.edu tapiacenter@rice.edu facebook.com/tapiacenter (713) 348-4788

Mailing Address: Richard Tapia Center Rice University, MS 134 P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251-1892

Physical Address: Duncan Hall Rice University 6100 Main Street, Rm 3072 Houston, TX 77005-1892

Tapia - The Magazine for Excellence & Equity is published four times a year and is sent to university alumni, faculty, staff, parents of students, and friends of the university. Published by the Tapia Center

|

Richard Tapia - Director and University Professor

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

5


Feature

Panel Moderator Antonio “Tony” Tijerino, President and CEO of Hispanic Heritage Foundation| Dr. Vladimir Alvarado, Associate Professor at University of Wyoming and a renowned scientist on enhanced oil recovery research | Dr. Frances Colón, Deputy Science & Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State at the U.S. Department of State, who promotes the integration of science and technology into foreign policy dialogue, the advancement of women in science and the global scientific engagement for capacity-building | Sophia Sanchez-Maes, national recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Award, an innovative collaborator, and a 17-year-old college freshman attending Yale University to pursue a degree in Astrophysics

Vision for the Future Building a Pipeline of Minorities in STEM

Written by Diana Rodriguez Skates

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) continues to define the competitive and innovative advantages for our country, environment, politics, and all career disciplines.

• Within this century, 80% of new jobs will require math and science skills. • Over 10,000 baby boomers in STEM related careers will be reaching retirement age within the next 15 years. As we think about this, the question becomes:

How do we build and maintain the pipeline of minorities in STEM? Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

7


As part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at the Houston Campus, ExxonMobil’s Global Organization for the Advancement of Latinos (GOAL) invited a diverse panel of Latino trailblazers and influencers that addressed the importance of inspiration, engagement, and involvement to build a diversity pipeline for STEM careers. Dr. Richard Tapia was among the Latino trailblazers that participated in the panel discussion.

T

he diverse panel of influencers came from humble beginnings. Inspiration and passion to pursue certain career disciplines and paths came through a wide array of life experiences. Dr. Alvarado shared his story in how his parents encouraged him to experiment. Dr. Tapia recognized his life-long passion for math, and he expressed how his two math professors from community college encouraged him to attend UCLA. Sophia and Dr. Colón acknowledged their teachers for igniting that spark for science and fostering awareness of their potential. But one common theme expressed among all of the panelists was to nurture and share that curiosity to learn, discover and experience life’s wonders and challenges, especially in the realm of STEM.

8

With their prowess and many accomplishments, being a trailblazer comes with the responsibility of being an influential role model in today’s society, particularly to the Latino community. Being a role model can be portrayed in multi-facets, whether it is educating students to challenge and reach their

nurture their interest in STEM, provide guidance in life skills, and gain knowledge and foundation for advanced math instruction. These elite Houston Independent School District (HISD) students, who were selected to participate among the 1,000 applications received, had the opportunity

potential, mentoring future leaders and influencers or simply demonstrating value for existence. As Dr. Tapia expressed, “excellence comes in all flavors.” From the perspectives shared by the trailblazers, the consensus reached about being a role model was to demonstrate excellence, represent Latinos and minorities well, and establish a foundation and pipeline for others to build and follow.

to experience college life and prepare for college. If these opportunities were not made available to them, the minority community could lose these potential innovators to socioeconomic adversity.

With the opportunities and foundation our panelists established in their career, thus far, they acknowledge that there is still more work that needs to be done to close, or at least minimize, the diversity gap in STEM careers. Each of the panelists shared solutions that could help minimize the pipeline gap in STEM careers. In addition to Sophia’s comment to maintain an ongoing outlet to keep students challenged and engaged, Dr. Tapia articulated the importance to reach and inspire students in K-12. In collaboration with community leaders, the Tapia Math & Science Program poses a solution and opportunity for the underrepresented minorities to

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

As another solution to address the diversity pipeline gap, Dr. Colón conveyed the significance of intentionally recruiting for leadership positions. She expressed that there are excellent Latino candidates with proven records and accolades, but as leaders, it is vital to actively recruit, put forth energy and work to recommend these potential candidates to decision makers. While there is still work to address the pipeline gap in STEM careers, trailblazers like Dr. Tapia, Dr. Colón, Dr. Alvarado and Sophia have laid a foundation for growth and opportunity to expand Latinos’ and minorities’ presence in influential roles for the future. STEM continues to be the catalyst of competitive and innovative advantage. Better preparing our youth and igniting a spark for curiosity, challenge and discovery will be vital for the future. g


Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

9


Feature

Congressman Al Green (D - TX), Congresswoman Shiela Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Dr. John King Interim U. S. Secretary of Education, Juliet Stipeche - City of Houston, Texas Director of Education

Rice Alumnus Hispanic Woman Thrives in Houston Politics Notably Has Three Undergraduate Degrees From Rice

No description of Juliet can be correctly started without discussing her laugh. If you meet Juliet one time you will know her laugh forever. It is as contagious as it is loud and gleeful. You will know Juliet is with you the moment you hear her laugh.

only come from a culture proud of its strong women. Although she is a vegetarian, she can carve a pig at a roast with the finesse of a master butcher. Her Argentinian roots peek through. Her need to work for the underrepresented ripped straight from the headlines.

As a first generation American, whose mother is from Mexico and whose father is Argentinian, her Hispanic roots are hidden behind a family name that sounds like neither. But make no mistake, Juliet has fire and drive that could

She graduated magna cum laude from Rice University with a B.A. in Political Science, Policy Studies and Religious Studies. She went on to earn a law degree from The University of Texas in Austin.

Mayor Turner sings Juliet’s praises constantly. In his press release he said, “Juliet is very passionate about education and children and I share that passion,” said Mayor Turner. “She is a visionary with transformative ideas. Her collaborative approach of working with parents, administrators, business, law enforcement and neighborhoods will help achieve my goal of moving this city forward and reducing the income inequality that is so often the result of deficiencies in the education system.”

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

11


12

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity


Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

13


14

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity


Feature

Why did I go to Rice?

How did I meet Dr. Tapia?

Actually, I decided to attend Rice for graduate studies because I had participated in Dr. Tapia’s Spend a Summer With a Scientist (SAS) program as an undergraduate student. I enjoyed the applied work that graduate students were conducting in optimization and this led me to study applied mathematics and later optimization at Rice. I also knew that the CAAM department at Rice had the distinguished reputation of awarding the most degrees to women and also to minority students. However, my first encounter with Dr. Tapia was the spring se-

Ph.D.

Computational & Applied Mathematics Rice University May 2000

M.S.

Computational & Applied Mathematics Rice University May 1998

mester prior to attending his summer program. A friend of mine showed me an article that had appeared in a newspaper regarding Dr. Tapia, his research, and his efforts in providing opportunities for underrepresented minorities and women. My friend and I were so excited to hear about a Latino faculty professor, as UT-Austin at the time had very few Latino faculty in mathematics and even fewer who were Mexican-American. One of them was my mentor Dr. Efraim Armendariz. So my friend contacted Dr. Tapia and within a few days we were driving to Houston to meet with him. There we met Jean and his family. Then we had dinner with Dr. Virginia Torczon and Dr. Michael Trosset who were conducting research at Rice. Upon returning to Austin, I immediately applied to the SAS program.

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

15


What are you doing now?

Currently, I am the Interim Director of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

UTRGV is a

consolidation from the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of TexasBrownsville in Fall 2015.

The school has a total of 72 full-time faculty of which 46 are tenure and tenure-track across the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses.

I hold the title of President’s Endowed Professor and I am also the founding director of the Center of Excellence in STEM Education (www.utrgv.edu/cstem)

“Dr. Tapia has provided me with much mentoring, professional development, and opportunities throughout my academic and professional career. I still seek advice from him and I share his advice with other faculty regarding their careers and the timing of career advancement opportunities.”

which was one of 3 centers established across the nation and the only one at a Hispanic Serving Institution from a U.S. Department of Defense HBCU/ MI grant program. In addition, I am also a Board Member (2015-2017) for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Personally, I have two children ages 11 and 13. My husband, Arturo, is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UTRGV. g

www.utrgv.edu/math 16

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity


http://halworld.corp.halliburton.com/greatminds


18

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity


Left: K-12 mathematics teachers discuss the implications of the new Texas mathematics process standards. Above: Teachers work collaboratively on a mathematics activity.

Departments

Tapia Center Partners RUSMP Works with Tapia Center

In

Rice University School Mathematics Project

2015, the RUSMP was tapped to work with the Tapia Center on its premier summer math camp for high school students. The Tapia Math-Science Scholars (TMSS) camp is designed for rising Juniors and Seniors who have shown excellence in math and a desire to learn in a fastpaced environment.

After the success of the 2015 program, the Tapia Center asked the RUSMP to join in producing the 2016 camp. Again, 40 students will be introduced to the fun of high level math in a fast-paced learning environment that takes care to get each participant up to speed and accelerating properly.

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

19


High school students, under the direction of their RUSMP instructor, explore mathematics in the Rice Art Gallery.

T

History and Goals of the RUSMP

he Rice University School Mathematics Project (RUSMP) was established in 1987 in order to provide a bridge between the Rice University mathematics research community and Houston-area mathematics teachers. RUSMP has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Education Eisenhower and Teacher Quality Programs, and from corporations, foundations, and school districts. RUSMP’s mission is to create a better understanding of the nature, beauty, and importance of mathematics and to promote effective teaching of mathematics. The RUSMP approach is grounded in research that supports our belief that sustained instructional changes can best be cultivated through the development of

professionalism among teachers and the creation of a network of teachers who have extensive knowledge of both mathematical content and pedagogy. RUSMP's major goal is to increase the mathematical and pedagogical knowledge of PreK-12 teachers and support them in implementing more effective mathematics programs. RUSMP has developed an extensive array of programs, courses, and interventions available to teachers and administrators. These include long-term, intensive summer programs; after-school academic-year courses; personalized professional development for schools which may include workshops along with classroom support; seminars for teachers and leaders; and opportunities for networking across schools and districts.

“RUSMP’s major goal is to increase the mathematical and pedagogical knowledge of PreK-12 teachers and support them in implementing more effective mathematics programs.” All RUSMP activities are designed to support the development of mathematics teachers and leaders by focusing on four major areas: • Solid knowledge of mathematics, including key concepts that students must master • Awareness of a variety of approaches to instruction and their appropriate use • The ability to plan and reflect collaboratively • Knowledge to sustain and grow effective mathematics programs 20

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity


Annual Summer Camps RUSMP's premier professional development program, in its 30th year, is a rigorous three-week program each June for K-12 teachers with intensive academic-year follow-up activities. Independent evaluations indicate that participating teachers gain content knowledge and pedagogical skills that significantly improve their instruction, their self-efficacy, and their students' achievement on standardized assessments.

Courses & Seminars RUSMP offers professional development courses for K-12 mathematics teachers throughout the year, many of which provide gifted and talented and/ or Rice University graduate credit. RUSMP also offers courses and seminars designed for K-12 mathematics leaders. Facilitated by leading mathematics educators, leaders develop research-based strategies necessary to support improved mathematics instruction at their campuses and in their districts. Courses are also developed and customized based upon the needs of partner schools or school districts. At schools’ request, RUSMP offers customized STEAM programs, including online courses, with an emphasis on mathematics as the foundation for the other disciplines. RUSMP includes STEAM integration when appropriate in its programs and offers professional development opportunities for schools and school districts that focus on integrating children’s literature and the visual arts, technology, science, and engineering into the teaching of mathematics.

Networking Conferences RUSMP hosts annual Fall and Spring Networking Conferences for the RUSMP network of teachers, administrators, and others from the educational community. Distinguished educators and scientists share their current research and interests, and RUSMP alumni and members of the RUSMP instructional team demonstrate exemplary mathematics lessons, new resources, and successful teaching strategies.

Personalized School and District Support RUSMP assesses the effectiveness of school- and district-level mathematics programs, makes recommendations for improvement, and provides targeted professional development, school-based support, coaching, and mentoring to improve student achievement. RUSMP also conducts mathematics curriculum audits for school districts and private schools and collaborates to revise their curricula so that their curricula are vertically aligned and support current state and national standards. RUSMP collaborates with schools and districts to offer programs for their students.

Collaborations In addition to working with schools and school districts, RUSMP collaborates with community organizations, government agencies, corporations, other departments at Rice, and other universities. g

Impact Since 1987, over 9,000 teachers and teacher leaders from 66 districts and private and charter schools and over 5,000 K-12 students have benefited from RUSMP programs. RUSMP maintains a strong presence in the local, national, and international practitioner and research organizations contributing significant presentations and papers for the larger mathematics education and research communities. Research on the NSF-funded Mathematics Leadership Institute (20042010) indicates that lead teachers had sustained positive impacts on school-level and district-level collaborations among administrators and teachers, instructional planning, and mathematics instruction.

Academic-year classroom observations of RUSMP participants indicate that they engage students in dialogue, affirm and build upon students’ thinking and questions, and provide students with adequate time to construct and explain their solutions. g

Visit the RUSMP website

rusmp.rice.edu

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

21


Departments

Rice professors addresses R-GEM students from the Humanities disciplines.

Rice Graduate Students R-GEM Produces Results

RGEM started on September 1, 2015 to revive the Rice AGEP program for minority graduate students in STEM disciplines and is extended to all underrepresented minority graduate students across the various disciplines including the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rice University. History In 1998 Rice University was awarded one of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) inaugural Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) programs based on successful support activities that targeted underrepresented minority students in the Computational and Applied

Mathematics Department (CAAM) and in the Rice Center for Research in Parallel Computation (CRPC) through the “Spend a Summer with a Scientist Program”.

Successes • Seventy-five (75) Rice Ph.D.s in STEM areas were awarded to underrepresented minority students in the past 20 years

with approximately 35 of those coming from CAAM, formerly the Mathematical Sciences Department. • Fifteen (15) NSF Graduate Fellowships were awarded to Rice AGEP students in the past five years. • Rice CAAM department was selected by the American Mathematical Society for the 2010 award to departments that have made a difference in improving representation.

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

23


Tayo Ajayi Ph.D.

Computational and Applied Mathematics

May 2020

Why Rice?

I chose Rice University because I knew that it presented the best opportunity for success at both the graduate level and beyond. My department’s focus on computational applications and practices, as well as elite faculty, drew me to Rice last year.

Current Research

My current research interest is in linear and integer programming. I was initially attracted to the field by its direct application to many interesting historical and present problems. I could immediately envision myself improving the quantitative methods behind problems such as flight scheduling or vehicle routing.

Advice for Incoming Students

Talk to the students already at the institution. It is very important to know which professors you may want to work with, but it is also valuable to know what life will be like when you arrive on any campus.

After Rice?

After the completion of my degree, I plan to work on operations research problems related to military or health care applications. Such work could take place within academia or with government organizations.


Kimberly Mendoza Ph.D.

Chemistry

May 2021 Why Rice?

I was looking for a university that would cultivate a diverse community of learning and discovery while providing opportunities to learn from distinguished faculty. From a medical student perspective, I needed an institution that fostered interdisciplinary collaboration in biomedical and health research with an established multidisciplinary translational research program benefiting human medicine and health. Thus, I discovered Rice University and found a new place to call home.

Advice for Incoming Students

The important thing is to never stop questioning. Follow your dreams and be passionate about your work.

After Rice?

As a M.D/Ph.D student, upon completion of my Ph.D at Rice University I will return to complete my final 2 years of medical school. I hope to apply to a residency in anesthesiology afterwards.


CJ Barberan Ph.D.

Electrical Engineering

May 2020

Why Rice?

The advisor, Rich Baraniuk.

Why Machine Learning? I was interested in how much impact I could contribute to the field, plus I felt very passionate about machine learning when I would read papers about it.

Advice for Incoming Students

As an undergrad try to get an undergraduate research position to see if you like the idea of research.

After Rice?

I’d like to work in machine learning at Google or Facebook.


Rice University Professors and staff teach the High School students directly. Several professors also give enhancement talks revealing information about their STEM fields and how students can enter those fields in the future.

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

27


To Register for the 2016 TMSS - Summer Math Camp www.TapiaCenter.Rice.Edu

Each year, roughly half the participants are female. Students actively engage in discussions and learn from each other as much as they learn from Rice Faculty and Staff.

Feature

High School Math Camp Preparing Women & Underrepresented Minorities

T

to be College & Career Ready in STEM Fields

his program is designed to empower motivated, academically successful, underrepresented, but economically disadvantaged, high school students who are passionate about math and science. Far from the Ivory Tower mentality, TMSS opens Rice University to emerging scholars deserving of a great academic opportunity. 28

Eligibility Rising juniors and seniors in high school are eligible to apply. After completing the four-week math camp, students are offered the chance to compete for internships at prestigious institutions and corporations the following summer. In 2015, the pilot program was sponsored by the Houston Independent School District and drew students exclusively from HISD.

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

Competitive Acceptance The program is now available nationally and will allow students from any U.S. school district to compete for one of 40 spots. Each student accepted is then sponsored by their district to attend the fourweek camp. The Richard Tapia Center at Rice University intends to establish TMSS as the premiere math-content summer program in the country for high school students. g


2015 TMSS Mentor

B.S.

Sean Peters Now a first year PhD student in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University I remember Dr. Tapia adamantly telling me, “Well of course you are going to graduate school!”

I

n the fall of my senior year, I decided to take Electrical Engineering Professor Tapia’s graduate Cum Laude level course in Optimization Rice University Theory. Even though I knew May 2015 it would be extremely challenging, I was committed to it because taking a course from a University Professor and National Medal of Science winner is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Although it was one of the hardest courses that I took at Rice, it was one of my favorites because he was very passionate about teaching and mentoring and integrated life lessons into each lecture. One of my favorite memories is solving homework problems together with Professor Tapia on his blackboard during office hours. In the summer of 2015, I was fortunate to work with the Tapia Center as a Calculus tutor for the Tapia Math-Science Scholars Program. One of the most unique aspects of the program was the opportunity for the students to interact with different Rice University professors everyday, as well as frequently interacting with Professor Tapia in various settings (enhancement lectures, poster sessions, and movie nights). In addition to leading a group of five underrepresented high school rising seniors through their calculus course material and a four week applied math research project, I helped guide the students as they researched potential institutions, prepared college essays, and explored STEM majors. Finally, I offered my personal experiences on adjusting to life in college to increase their awareness of some of the challenges they might face and provided strategies to overcome them. g

As a first year graduate student at Stanford University, Sean was awarded: • The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship • The Stanford Enhancing Diversity in Graduate STEM Education Fellowship • The Stanford EE Departmental Fellowship

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

29


Tapia Talks

Dr. Richard Tapia

Departments

Gender Equity is Stepping on the Toes of Minority Representation

“We all have had some interaction with women, and most of us appreciate their plight; but we can not say the same things concerning underrepresented minorities.” Soon after World War II, computing activity grew incredibly fast. By the 1960’s, the nation became acutely aware that women and underrepresented minorities (primarily African Americans and Hispanic Americans) were not represented in these thriving industries that were of significant importance to the health and economy of the nation. The former deficiency we will refer to as gender equity and the latter as underrepresentation. While there are similarities between the two deficiencies, they carry significantly different flavors and consequences and the differences are not generally appreciated. We all have had some interaction with women, and most of us appreciate their plight; but, we can not say the same things concerning underrepresented minorities. Indeed, many associate attempts to improve minority representation with negativity; for example, a lowering of standards and unfair hiring or promotion practices. This negativity and resentment is reflected in the recent mass white support of Donald Trump . Women tend to be educated in parallel worlds with men, while minorities, in general, tend to be less well educated than (white) women. Hence, the gender equity problem is much easier to solve. So in the past 60 years or so we have seen excellent progress in improving gender equity as compared to improving representation . Indeed, look at today’s movement of women onto the science and engineering fac-

30

ulties of research universities, into the national academies, and into the top level administrative positions of major universities as compared to essentially the complete lack of similar movement for underrepresented minorities. As a consequence, women are able to promote gender equity from positions of power and authority; unfortunately, this is not so for minorities.

In raising dollars for a recent Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, I was told by a giant technology company on the West Coast that upper level administration had many committed champions for improving gender equity, but none for improving representation. So they would contribute to the Grace Hopper Conference that promotes gender equity in computing and not to The Tapia Conference that promotes improved representation of minorities in computing . I convinced them to send a dozen or so technical employees to Tapia 2013; they did; and are now believers and strong supporters of Tapia. They better appreciate the concern for improving representation.

Tapia The Magazine for Excellence & Equity

The female population of the country has a natural upper bound of 50% or so; however, the minority population only has 100% as its upper bound . With the browning of America, the nation’s health will be seriously compromised if an ever increasing part of its citizens are completely left out of the backbone strength that made America great: science, engineering, technology, and computing. Gender equity is a moral and ethical issue, as is underrepresentation, but the latter carries with it a component that progressively more greatly endangers the scientific health of the nation. We at the Tapia center are concerned with both gender equity and minority representation. I have championed quite successfully both issues for the past fifty years or so. However, my motivation for the statements made above is that the landscape is changing. At a recent faculty meeting there was much discussion led by white women on gender equity yet nothing on underrepresentation. I had to speak up, and I am not sure that I was that effective in convincing the faculty of the importance of improving representation. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, analogously, it takes a nation to address the problem of underrepresentation. We, the underrepresented minorities can not do it alone, we need help from all. It is the health of the nation that is at stake. g


# 1 Best quality of student life # 1 Lots of race/class interaction # 4 Best private college value

— Princeton Review — Princeton Review

— Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Unconventional? Not at Rice. Pretty amazing numbers from some pretty prestigious organizations that study higher education. Specifically Princeton Review’s The Best 380 Colleges and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s 2015 list of best values among private universities. They included comments about the university being “academically challenging,” with research being a “fundamental part” of the Rice experience, “student leadership opportunities as one of the biggest strengths” and “low 6:1 student-faculty ratio.” Such rankings reflect the amazing efforts and dedication of the Rice faculty and staff to provide the best possible educational experience.

That’s what we do at Rice University — apply unconventional wisdom to solve today’s problems and deliver tomorrow’s solutions. Find out more at www.rice.edu/10.

Tapia Magazine Summer 2016  

TapiaCenter.Rice.Edu Tapia, the Magazine for Excellence and Equity is published four times per year. It highlights and recognizes academica...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you