Clemson University’s PEER & WISE and COSMIC programs received the 2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Clemson University will be featured, along with 78 other recipients, in the September 2021 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.
Serita Acker directs PEER & WISE, one of the Clemson programs being honored by INSIGHT Into Diversity.
“This award is validation that PEER & WISE exemplify diversity,” Acker said. “We are not only encouraging and supporting the recruitment and retention of women and underrepresented students, but also fostering inclusion to make those groups feel included, valued, and proud to be in a STEM field at Clemson.”
COSMIC supports incoming students by matching them with mentors from similar backgrounds and interests.
“The COSMIC ecosystem is a family of support that extends beyond the classroom. Students in our program are dedicated to diversity, inclusion, service, community and academics. I’ve witnessed them accomplish amazing things, and many have gone on to dental, medical and law schools,” said Sharetta Bufford, assistant director of recruitment and inclusive excellence for the College of Science and director of the program.
Lee Gill, chief diversity officer at Clemson nominated PEER & WISE and COSMIC for the awards.
“PEER & WISE and COSMIC are supporting our efforts to create an environment where every student, faculty member and staff member has the opportunity to maximize their success,” he said. “The leaders of these programs and their teams are working tirelessly to level the playing field, and I commend them for their success. These are well-deserved honors
Oliver Myers, associate dean for inclusive excellence in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, said PEER & WISE is helping equip underrepresented students with the resources they need to excel at Clemson University and prepare them for life after graduation.
“Students are coming to us with dreams of becoming an engineers and scientists, and PEER & WISE is playing an integral role in helping facilitate those dreams,” he said. “I congratulate the team on its success.”
Congratulations also came from Melissa Smith, associate dean for inclusive excellence and graduate studies in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.
“PEER & WISE is an important part of our efforts to widen the pipeline from the K-12 system to the undergraduate level to the graduate level and then into the workplace, whether industry or academia,” Smith said. “These awards are richly deserved.”
Calvin Williams, associate dean of inclusive excellence for the College of Science, said COSMIC plays an important role in the college’s efforts to help underrepresented students succeed.
“The College of Science has been working strategically to increase our awareness and practice of inclusive needs. COSMIC was created to meet some of those needs for our undergraduate students. The program’s 97 percent retention rate validates its importance and demonstrates its effectiveness,” he said.
To learn more about PEER & WISE, click here. To learn more about COSMIC, click here.
“We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication, and mentorship for underrepresented students,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”
A call for nominations for this award was announced in April 2021.
For more information about the 2021 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit insightintodiversity.com.
About INSIGHT Into Diversity
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education today and is known for its annual INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award that recognizes colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion in higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as explorations of best practices and profiles of exemplary programs. In our Career Center, readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com.
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