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Research News On Minority Graduate
Volume 1
Number 2

July 1999

Inside this issue:
Forty Percent of the System: The Contribution of DMOS Institutions to Diversity in Science and Engineering Graduate Education

An Interview with 
Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez

A Profile of an 
MGE Institution: University of

The Human Capital Liabilities of Underepresented Minorities in Pursuit of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Doctoral Degrees

From the Editors

Hot Topic Question

Managing Editor: Yolanda S. George Editor: 
Virginia Van Horne
Art Director:
Ann Williams
Online Editor:
Maria Sosa

Making Strides is a quarterly (April, July, October, and January) research newsletter published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Directorate for Education and Human Resources Program. Its purpose is to share information about minority graduate education (MGE) in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering. It is available in print and electronic format. Inquiries, information related to MGE, and all correspondence should be sent to the editor.

From the Editors:

Each issue of Making Strides will feature a profile on a MGE institution.  Dr. Shirley Malcom, Head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs at AAAS, was the commencement speaker for the Rackham Graduate School and honorary doctorate recipient at the spring 1999 University of Michigan commencement.  Naturally, we thought it appropriate to ask Dr. Malcom to write a short profile on this MGE institution. 

Peter Syverson, Vice President for Research at the Council of Graduate Schools, wrote an article on the contribution of Doctorate, Masterís and Other Specialized institutions to SME graduate education.  Drs. Michael Nettles and Catherine Millet at the University of Michigan share findings from their ongoing study of doctoral student retention. And, Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez, a Biomathematics professor at Cornell University, is profiled in this issue.

Thereís been a great deal of press, of late, on the financial debt burden of students. An April 16, 1999 National Science Foundation Issue Brief by Alan Rapoport noted that underrepresented minority SME Ph.D. recipients reported higher levels of debt than their white and Asian counterparts. This same brief noted a slightly higher debt burden of women, but, Rapoport noted that field-level data indicate that the aggregate findings mask substantial differences in the debt situation between male and female SME Ph.D. recipients.  See page 2 of the newsletter for tables highlighting this data. 

A Brief Overview of MGE

In late October of 1998, the NSF Minority Graduate Education program awarded eight universities nearly $2.5 million each to significantly increase the number of African American, Hispanic and Native American students receiving SME doctoral degrees.   Also, as part of this initiative, AAAS and CPST received a three-year research award of $450,000 to identify and disseminate factors that affect these studentsí underrepresentation in SME as well as the successful strategies that lead to their increased representation in science, mathematics and engineering doctoral programs and careers, in particular, the professoriate.  The eight universities that received awards are Georgia Institute of Technology, Howard University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Puerto Rico and Rice University. 

As noted on the NSF/MGE webpage, ďthe Congress has consistently stressed the need for the National Science Foundation to expand its efforts to provide opportunities for underrepresented groups to participate in the Nationís science and engineering enterprise.Ē  In the House of Representative Reports 105-610 and 105-769 (reports that accompanied the Foundationís FY 1999 appropriations) the NSF was directed to increase its support for minority graduate education. NSF solicited additional proposals for the MGE program in early February, 1999. Official announcements will be made on new awardees before early fall 1999.

Lastly, we would like to take a moment to say thank you for the warm response we have received toward our newsletter.  Please continue to send us your comments, feedback and inquiries.  We also ask that you make a point to take a few moments to answer the hot topic question.  Your answers assist us with our research. 

Visit (http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/ehr/hrd/mge.asp) for additional information on the NSF Minority Graduate Education program. 

Click here to view the April 1999 issue of Making Strides.


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