Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS)
iAAMCS: Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, through the University of Wisconsin-Madison is partnering with the University of Florida, and other higher education institutions to launch the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS). The institute, funded by a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, aims to broaden participation of African Americans in computing sciences. The institute will emphasize mentoring as the primary strategy and will serve as a national resource, focusing on increasing the number of African American doctoral graduates entering the workforce with a research focus, retaining African American students, faculty, and researchers in computing, and developing future leaders with computing expertise.
A project funded by and NSF RAPID grant, the Alliance for the Advancement of African-American Researchers in Computing (A4RC), a Broadening Participation in Computing alliance is committed to increasing the number of African Americans attaining advanced degrees in computing, particularly at the PhD level. A4RC’s approach to bring about this change is to establish and develop student pipelines from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to universities offering advanced degrees in computing. A4RC collaborations are centered around research pods that link students and faculty from HBCUs with faculty from research institutions on a particular area of computer science research. The A4RC Evaluation Team at the University of Wisconsin will examine the five years of A4RC evaluation data to determine what program attributes are best suited to serve as national models for creating a computing education pathway for African Americans. The project staff will utilize existing data and original data collection to assess the effectiveness of past and current A4RC initiatives. The PI will disseminate best practices and research results on increasing the participation of African Americans in computing. Accordingly, one would expect to see rising enrollments of African American students in graduate computing programs as a result of more programs like A4RC emerging across the U. S. The dissemination of best practices obtained from the assistance of RAPID funding has the potential to significantly impact and enhance broadening participation in computing efforts nationwide.
A Qualitative Study of Campus Climate for LGBTQA Students at a Large Midwestern University
Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, in partnership with the UW-Madison LGBT Campus Center, will be conducting interviews with UW students to gauge the campus climate for LGBTQA students. Researchers from the Wei LAB will be recruiting students to answer several interview questions to help better understand the experiences of LGBTQA students on campus, and how to better serve them. By better understanding the climate for LGBTQA students, the Wei LAB LGBTQA research team will be able to craft a comprehensive and broad set of recommendations for best practices for student services, in addition to adding to an ever-developing field of LGBTQA research in higher education.