We are excited to announce that Michael Dennin (Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Dean of Undergraduate Education and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UCI) has won an idea competition hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine!

Answering the prompts “What should undergraduate STEM education look like in 2040 and beyond to meet the needs of students, science, and society?” and “What should we do now to prepare?,” the Idea Competition on Imagining the Future of Undergraduate STEM Education drew submissions from stakeholders across the country. Out of the 160 entries received, Vice Provost Dennin’s submission, titled “Eliminating Institutional Racism in Undergraduate STEM Education,” was among the 25 winners. 

Speaking on his recent win, Vice Provost Dennin says:

“I’m truly honored that my submission was selected as one of the winners, especially knowing that it was up against so many others from the best and brightest across higher education. More importantly, I’m thrilled that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are exploring these important questions and providing a platform where we can discuss them. When it comes to equality and inclusivity in undergraduate STEM education—and university education in general—there’s a lot of work to be done. However, by having these conversations and acknowledging that change needs to happen, we are effectively moving in the right direction.”

Along with the other winning entries, Vice Provost Dennin’s submission will be highlighted at a public symposium held by the National Science Foundation in partnership with the National Academies on November 12, 13 and 19, 2020. The symposium will delve into the ideas generated by the competition and determine steps for achieving them. Additionally, the symposium will play a role in influencing funding priorities for the National Science Foundation and other organizations. Learn more about the symposium or register for this free event on the National Academies website here.

Ahead of the symposium, you are encouraged to check out the winning submissions and honorable mentions. Here is a brief excerpt of Vice Provost Dennin’s winning submission:

“As a white, heterosexual, cisgender, male, I benefit from essentially every obvious privilege category. Additionally, as a physics professor, my path to success was helped by many other aspects of privilege. Why do I mention my privilege? It is part of my journey to understand the anti-black, institutional racism that is part of universities. Institutional structures that must be changed if the future of STEM education will achieve the diversity needed for STEM research to achieve its full potential and for STEM graduates to maximize their contribution to society in whatever roles they engage.”

You can read Vice Provost Dennin’s full submission here