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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Terrell R Morton
  • (573) 882-8727
  • Mark A Melton
  • Walter Gassmann
Award Date:07/07/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 75,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 75,000
  • FY 2020=$75,000
Start Date:09/01/2020
End Date:08/31/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RCN-UBE Incubator: Re-Envisioning Culture: Addressing Black Student Retention in Undergraduate Biology Education
Federal Award ID Number:2018532
DUNS ID:153890272
Parent DUNS ID:006326904
Program:UBE - Undergraduate Biology Ed
Program Officer:
  • Sophie George
  • (703) 292-7192

Awardee Location

Street:115 Business Loop 70 W
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Missouri-Columbia
Street:303 Townsend Hall
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

Despite decades of intervention efforts, Black students continue to be underrepresented in undergraduate biology education perhaps due to a persisting mismatch between the culture (e.g., communicated norms, expectations, values, and beliefs) practiced in undergraduate biology education and Black students’ expressed identity and cultural beliefs and values. This possible mismatch poses challenges for U.S. advancements through STEM research and the STEM enterprise, specifically in the sciences, as biology-based and biology-informed graduate programs and professional careers continue to lack diversity and inclusive structures. Currently, no specific network exists that specifically studies the culture of undergraduate biology education and its role in supporting the continued advancement of Black students in biology. This incubator RCN-UBE project, “Re-Envisioning Culture” builds a network comprised of diverse individuals from higher education (e.g., administrators, faculty, staff, students), science industry, and Black cultural spaces, to address the challenges of retaining and supporting the continued participation of Black students in the Biological Sciences with a specific focus on the culture of undergraduate biology education and Black student identity and culture. Incorporating Black students’ identity, culture, and experience in the design and implementation of undergraduate biology education increases the possibility of attracting and retaining through professional careers, more Black students in biology; a mission that would enhance the diversity of biology-based and biology-informed careers, as well as the inclusion of scientific innovations that advance the financial and social positioning of the United States. Through hosting an in-person retreat, and two small group virtual meetings, the Re-Envisioning Culture network will: explore and identify the culture(s) of undergraduate biology education across institutional types; examine the influence of these cultures on Black students’ retention; identify and target aspects of undergraduate biology education that foster challenges for Black students’ retention; and, propose possible interventions, strategies, and research studies that will prompt changes to the structure of undergraduate biology education in efforts to enhance its support of Black students. Outcomes from the Re-Envisioning Culture network will provide insight into how to support undergraduate biology retention efforts for all students in the United States. These outcomes will illuminate challenges that prevent retention and provide a potential blueprint of ways to make undergraduate biology education more inclusive and attentive to the needs and experiences of the diverse student body. All materials generated can be utilized to transform and enhance teaching and mentoring practices in undergraduate biology education in ways that intentionally account for students’ identity, culture, and experiences. The information and materials developed will be curated and made publicly available through a virtual platform that contains a repository of resources and how to participate in network events. Written reports for academic and lay audiences will be generated. This project is being jointly funded by the Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education as part of their efforts to address the challenges posed in Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action (http://visionandchange/finalreport/). This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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