Thurgood Marshall College Fund Brings Educators from HBCUs to New Orleans to Discuss the Increasing Need of STEAM Opportunities

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – (March 6, 2013) The Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s annual Member Universities Professional Institute (MUPI) will focus on improving retention, graduation & career readiness in Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics (STEAM), March 24-27, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans.

The demand for well-prepared STEAM graduates has increased to such an extent that the U.S. Commission on National Security 21st Century concluded, “the lack of prepared graduates pose[s] critical national security challenges for the United States.” And while underrepresented students earn STEAM degrees at much lower rates than their white counterparts, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) continue to play a significant role in educating minority students. In fact, a 2010 report by the Urban Institute notes that HBCU enrollment in science and technology fields increased 15% between 1990 and 2007. Our goal at MUPI is to build and improve upon this trend in ways that inform the national conversation.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) will convene its member-school Presidents, Chancellors, Provosts, and STEAM Faculty (Deans, Department Chairs, Professors, and Researchers); as they represent the key decision makers who can effect real change on their campuses and strengthen the pipeline of STEAM graduates.

Workshop topics include “Using Writing in the Sciences to Establish Quality STEAM Participation,” “Closing the Gaps in College Preparation: A Secondary Education Perspective,” and “Securing and Administering Faculty Research Grants.” There will also be a special session for all member-school Presidents and Chancellors that will discuss capacity building strategies for leveraging international relationships to expand opportunities in research and student exchange. MUPI aims to provide professional development and training for key decision makers of America’s public HBCUs through workshops, plenary sessions, and affiliation forums.

According to TMCF’s President & CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., “In order to succeed in an advanced global economy, we must ensure that our member-school faculty and administrators are diligently pushing to promote retention and migration of our STEAM majors. We will convene some of the best and brightest minds in the industry to collaborate and create action plans that will increase graduation rates within the STEAM disciplines, and more importantly, to ensure the students matriculating on our member-school campuses will have access to the best opportunities within the STEAM industry upon graduation.”

Invited guest speakers are among those who have devoted their professional careers to advancements in science, research, and higher education. Two of the confirmed conference keynote speakers are Roderic Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D., Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity at the National Institutes of Health and Joan Higginbotham, Former NASA Astronaut and the Director of Community Relations for Lowes Companies, Inc. Other industry professions in STEAM fields will also serve as workshop presenters.

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. TMCF helps students with a clear intention and the motivation to succeed and acquire a high-quality college education at an affordable cost. TMCF also efficiently connects high performing, world-ready students with top tier employment opportunities—access that students or employers might not have on their own. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization and for more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit: