The STEMversity the Podcast is produced by the NSF HSI National STEM Resource Hub. This podcast engages conversations with STEM experts at various stages in their careers working for diversifying the Scientific enterprise in an equitable way. Our guest panelists share perspectives and experiences as they tackle concerns and celebrate successes we often engage as we work to support students pursuing STEM degrees at Hispanic Serving Institutions. Your host is the President of Dona Ana Community College in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Dr. Monica Torres.
Dr. Monica Torres has over 35 years of experience in higher education. As President of Doña Ana Community College she works with faculty, staff, and community partners to provide meaningful educational opportunities for the citizens of Doña Ana county. As the chief academic officer of the college Dr. Torres oversaw the planning, development and implementation of educational programs at Doña Ana Community College. She worked collaboratively with deans, division directors, department chairs and program directors to meet the needs of a diverse community of learners at the community college and the community at large. Dr. Torres has also previously served as an assistant professor, associate professor and department head at NMSU’s Department of English. There, she taught classes, advised graduate students and performed research. As department head she oversaw the operation of the department including curricular, teaching and administrative functions. Torres has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from NMSU. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in American Studies with an emphasis in Cultural Studies.
STEMversity Ep. 6: SACNAS- The Society for Advancement of Chicanos, Hispanics and Native Americans in Science
Guest panelists, Dr. Pamela Padilla and Dr. Sonia Zárate. Drs. Padilla and Zárate are the current and past presidents for, SACNAS, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos, Hispanics, and Native Americans in Science. Dr. Padilla currently serves the Dean of the College of Sciences at the University of North Texas, and Dr. Zárate currently serves as Senior Program Lead at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In this episode, Dr. Torres and our guests discuss the role of SACNAS for diversifying the scientific enterprise, the impact SACNAS had on their career pathways, and best approaches and practices for supporting students in STEM disciplines.
STEMversity Ep. 5: Inclusive Teaching with Michèle Shuster
Guest panelist, Dr. Michèle Shuster from New Mexico State University, and President Torres discuss using data to assess the effectiveness of inclusive teaching, combating stereotype threat in the classroom, the scholarship of teaching, equity in higher education, and institutional investments and conventions for supporting faculty for bolstering student success.
STEMversity Ep. 4: Service Learning & Economic Development with Michael Thompson
Guest panelist, Dr. Michael Thompson from the Research Impact Enterprises interviews with Dr. Torres to discuss service learning, economic development, and define wealth and wealth generation for students of color.
Research Impact Enterprises Website: https://www.research-impact-enterprises.com
STEMversity Ep. 3: Broader Impacts with Michael Thompson
Guest panelist, Dr. Michael Thompson from the Research Impact Enterprises interviews with Dr. Torres and dives deep into Broader Impacts, defining impact, measuring impact, and bridging research and impact in a compelling way.
The Broader Impacts Guy Website: https://www.thebroaderimpactsguy.com
STEMversity Ep. 2: Diversity Programming in STEM with Bernadette Connors
Guest panelist, Dr. Bernadette Connors from Dominican College of Blauvelt, studies microbial and viral ecosystems in numerous waterways in the Hudson Valley, focusing on identifying how human-related activities impact the dynamics of the aquatic microbiome. In this interview, Dr. Torres and Dr. Connors discuss CUREs (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences), equity in the science classroom, challenges faced by students and institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and justice in education.
STEMversity Ep. 1: The Important Role of the HSI for Student Success in STEM with Alexis Racelis
Guest panelist, Dr. Alex Racelis from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, studies ecological interactions in the social, political, and economic contexts in which they occur. In this interview, Dr. Torres and Dr. Racelis discuss institutional capacity building for HSIs and the communities we serve, culturally relevant STEM pedagogy and practices, community-based research, teaching at Minority Serving Institutions, the important role of HSIs in the national and local landscapes, and the origin of the HSI designation.
Podcast Producer & Editor
Margie Vela is a researcher, educator and public servant devoted to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in higher education and STEM. She earned her Ph.D. in Water Science and Management from New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 2019 and served the State of New Mexico in public service as a Regent for the NMSU System from 2017-2019. She served as an intern at the National Science Foundation in 2015 and as a Farmer-to-Farmer USAID volunteer in 2018. Her career in DEI began at Fort Lee Garrison, where she served as Director for the HIRED! Program to prepare dependents of military personnel to enter college and the workforce. Her career in higher education began at a Historically Black University, in 2010, where she implemented a multi-million-dollar program focused on diversifying the STEM enterprise. Currently, Dr. Vela serves as Senior Project Manager for the NSF HSI National STEM Resource Hub working to implement a project aimed to bolster STEM at 539 Hispanic Serving Institutions in grantsmanship, multicultural awareness, institutional capacity building and STEM pedagogy: and facilitating partnerships across institutions and disciplines. Dr. Vela serves the NMSU Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Chapter as founding co-advisor and has served as a national panelist for SACNAS in DEI training as an alumnus of SACNAS Postdoctoral Leadership Institute. She recently earned a Certificate in DEI from Cornell University.