Opportunity with STEM: Attract, Retain, and Diversify

Brought to you by
ACS Science & the Congress Project
Honorary Co-Hosts
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and
Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Co-Chair STEM Education Caucus


Graduates of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degrees stand to earn more in their lifetime while contributing innovation and technical expertise necessary for a robust society. Further, improving the diversity of such graduates will produce a workforce that empowers all communities to equally share in the benefits of a STEM-literate society. The success of STEM programming thus depends on attracting aspirational students and providing the resources for them to excel in learning. Further, teaching and mentoring methods need re-tooling and energetic instructors to retain the majority and greatest diversity of students enrolled in STEM programs to graduate with a STEM degree. This panel will discuss opportunities and policy measures that can develop students’ creative and critical thinking skills to produce diverse graduates with a bright nation-driving future.

Video from October 16, 2012


Speaker Bios & Presentations

Martin Storksdieck, Ph.D., is the director of the Board on Science Education at the National Research Council (NRC) and the director of the NRC’s Roundtable on Climate Change Education. He oversees studies that address a wide range of issues related to science education and science learning, and provides evidence-based advice to decision-makers in policy, academia and educational practice. Dr. Storksdieck’s prior research focused on what and how we learn when we do so voluntarily, and how learning is connected to our behaviors, identities and beliefs. This includes the role of personal perspectives in science learning, particularly related to controversial topics such as climate change or evolution. Before joining the NRC, he served as director of project development and senior researcher at the non-profit Institute for Learning Innovation. In the 1990s Dr. Storksdieck was a science educator with a planetarium in Germany, where he developed shows and programs on global climate change; served as editor, host, and producer for a weekly environmental news broadcast; and worked as an environmental consultant specializing in local environmental management systems. He holds an M.S. in biology from the University of Freiburg, Germany; an M.P.A. from Harvard University; and a Ph.D. in education from Leuphana University, Germany.

Sylvester James (Jim) Gates, Jr., Ph.D., is a theoretical physicist. He received two B. S. for mathematics and physics in (1973) and Ph. D. (1977) degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Gates is currently the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park and serves on the U. S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and the Maryland State Board of Education. He has been featured extensively on many NOVA PBS programs on physics, most notably ‘‘The Elegant Universe’’ in 2003. During the 2008 World Science Festival, Dr. Gates narrated a ballet ‘‘The Elegant Universe’’ with an on-line resource presentation of the artist forms (Adinkras) connected to his research into supersymmetry/supergravity/M-Theory. He is a Fellow of the American Physics Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Society of Black Physicists, and the British Institute of Physics, and a Distinguished Research Chair at Canada’s Perimeter Institute. Dr. Gates serves on several science advisory boards and in 2011 and 2012 was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. His continuing research and art/science activities can be seen via http://umdphysics.umd.edu/people/faculty/135-gates.html

Eunice Heath, is the Senior Director for Government Affairs in the northeast and Corporate Citizenship for STEM education. Ms. Heath develops public policy stakeholder engagement strategies related to Dow’s growth agenda in key northeast states. She is also responsible for guiding the strategy and implementation of the international STEM components of Dow’s overall corporate citizenship strategy globally. Ms. Heath joined Dow in 1991 as part of the Commercial Development Program and has worked in myriad marketing, sales and supply chain roles, rising to such as Marketing & Sales director for Dow Wolff Cellulosics in 2007 and general manager of Home & Personal Care in 2009. She earned her MBA at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Florida. Among Ms. Heath’s many talents and accomplishments she has a strong passion for the development and advancement of people and support of STEM which is represented by her leadership on the corporate Diversity & Inclusion Council and executive liaison for Dow’s African American Network. She is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, a recipient of the 2007 Black Engineer of the Year Award and 2011 Women of Distinction winner by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Linda Rosen, Ph.D. serves as the chief executive officer of Change the Equation. Dr. Rosen has a proven track record in providing leadership to the business community in its mission to improve STEM learning. Her career has focused on scaling up research-based best practices, working with states and localities to implement these practices to ensure long-term sustainability and success. Previously, Dr. Rosen was the senior vice president for the National Alliance of Business where she worked with companies to articulate their STEM vision for the 2001 Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind). As Senior Advisor to U.S. Education Secretary Richard Riley, Dr. Rosen provided counsel on math and science, as well as STEM initiatives. She led the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, also known as the John Glenn Commission. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Rosen served as Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the largest professional association of teachers of math and teacher educators, and as the National Academy of Sciences’ Associate Executive Director of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board. Dr. Rosen has taught mathematics from high school through graduate level.

Mark Rosenberg, Ph.D., is the fifth president of Florida International University. He brings over thirty years of experience in higher education leadership to this post. The author of seven books and numerous scholarly articles on Latin America, Dr. Rosenberg was one of the principal architects of FIU's growth and expansion during the past decade and played a lead role in development of FIU’s new Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. Most recently, he served as Chancellor of the State University System of Florida, and was instrumental in developing a new financial strategy to support the continuing development and expansion of the State University System. Dr. Rosenberg holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. from Miami University of Ohio, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He is a Fulbright Research Scholar and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Related Information

National Academies, Board on Science Education

University of Maryland

  • S. James “Jim” Gates http://umdphysics.umd.edu/people/faculty/135-gates.html

The Dow Chemical Company

Florida International University

Change the Equation

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

National Science Board

American Chemical Society Science & the Congress Project