Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Receives 2020 “Inspiring Programs in STEM” Award

September 4, 2020

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Staff pose for a photo on-campus outside
Chief Diversity Officer Ainsley Thomas, Technical Assistant Zoë O’Brey, President Roger A. Ramsammy, Community Outreach Specialist Taunya Hannibal-Williams and Mac-Arthur Louis, IT manager at Health Research Inc.

Hudson Valley Community College’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) is one of 74 colleges and universities to receive national recognition for programs that are making a difference for those who are underrepresented in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“Inspiring Programs in STEM” award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity, the oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education, based on efforts to enthuse and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives. Nominations were sought in April and the award recipients were announced on Aug. 15, 2020. Winners will be highlighted in the September 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity.

The award recognizes Hudson Valley’s STEM Outreach Workshop Initiative (SOWI), a free, online workshop series launched in summer 2020 by ODEI staff: Chief Diversity Officer Ainsley Thomas, Community Outreach Specialist Taunya Hannibal-Williams and Technical Assistant Zoë O’Brey. Hannibal-Williams coordinated the initiative, and the workshops were facilitated by Mac-Arthur Louis of the Vicano Group. Python programing language was taught for introductory to intermediate/advanced skill levels, and the workshops focused on gaming, robotics or business settings. The sessions were open to middle and high schools students, as well as adult caregivers. A SUNY PRODiG (Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion and Growth) grant inspired the creation of the workshops that attracted more than 50 registrants.

“We strive every day for more diversity and inclusion at Hudson Valley Community College, and are extremely proud to see the STEM Outreach Workshop Initiative in the spotlight,” said President Roger Ramsammy, Ph.D. “We plan to build on this success, and I hope that other institutions see what we’ve accomplished and are able to create similar programs.”

“Many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication, and mentorship for underrepresented students,” Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, said. “We want to honor the schools that have created programs that inspire.”

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