On Nov. 15, the Department of Food Science hosted its first annual Fall Fest event. Students, staff and faculty from throughout Babcock Hall—including the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant, the Babcock Hall Dairy Store and the Center for Dairy Research—were all invited. The event, put on in partnership with the Intertribal Agriculture Council, involved learning about the traditional foods of Native Peoples; helping to prepare a meal using local, indigenous foods under the guidance of three chefs; and then enjoying the feast together. It was a memorable experience for all involved, yielding much more than a nutritious meal. Participants gained a deeper appreciation for Native foods and culture, while immersed in a community-building event. The photos below capture some of the activities of the evening.
Today in my series of Science-a-Thon essays, I’ll continue profiling a few of my wonderful colleagues on the board of the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN). It is a true pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Erika Marín-Spiotta, who is actively improving the culture of science.
Pao Vue’s interest in animals and nature began at a young age, eventually leading him to UW–Madison.
As his career goals evolved – taking shape in environmental science and conservation – they set Vue on a journey that has made him one of the first Hmong Americans to receive a PhD in his field.
Vue’s doctorate degree in geography, which he earned in spring 2018, brings pride to his family and clan, but also warrants recognition of the challenges the Hmong population faces in higher education.
“The festival is an annual event but this year, in particular, what we’re interested in is the mini-symposium on broadening participation in STEM,” Laura Heisler, Director of Programming for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation told Madison365. “It’s something that came up because we had research that showed women and people of color as underrepresented. So we wanted to broaden that study.”
To broaden participation in STEM programs and fields, the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced the award of a five-year, $10 million NSF INCLUDES Alliance grant to be co-led by UW–Madison’s Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
“We are delighted to be among the first recipients of NSF’s INCLUDES Alliance awards,” states Robert Mathieu, an astronomy professor at UW–Madison who co-directs the new alliance. “Despite the importance of a more diverse faculty and the use of more inclusive practices by all faculty to advance learning and student success, improvement efforts have not been as successful as needed, particularly in STEM subjects. For example, underrepresented minority faculty are a mere 8 percent of associate and full professors in STEM fields at four-year institutions. Data show that when diverse faculty members teach underrepresented students, these students achieve at significantly higher rates, shrinking achievement gaps in those classes by 20 to 50 percent.”