Receiving $600,000 a year over the next five years, ANSEP will use the funding to conduct research aimed at better understanding the barriers to broadening participation in the STEM workforce. The grant will also fund a programmatic expansion across all three University of Alaska campuses. The goal is to increase the number of students who earn a baccalaureate degree in a STEM field and become part of the STEM workforce.
“The partnership between NSF’s LSAMP and ANSEP couldn’t be a more natural fit,” said ANSEP Founder and Vice Provost Dr. Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder. “The mission of LSAMP is to help more minority students complete STEM degree programs and ultimately effect change in the representation of minorities in the workforce. This has been ANSEP’s mission since the program first started 22 years ago.”
“In Alaska, we are up against an enormous challenge when it comes to transitioning students from high school into college, but ANSEP has found a way to do that, even for students coming to the university from rural villages,” said Yatchmeneff, who grew up in False Pass and King Cove, villages of approximately 50 and 1,000 people, respectively.
“ANSEP has proven that when the right people have access to the right resources, Alaska Native students can break down barriers and become valuable leaders in our workforce,” said Calhoun, who still works closely with ANSEP and mentors students in addition to being a professor at University of Alaska Anchorage College of Engineering.
The Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program, founded by Herb Ilisaurri Schroeder, Ph.D., is part of the University of Alaska system. The program strives to effect systemic change in the hiring patterns of Alaska Natives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics career fields by placing its students on a path to leadership. Beginning at the middle school level, ANSEP’s longitudinal model continues through high school and into undergraduate, graduate and doctorate programs, allowing students to succeed at rates far exceeding national numbers. In 2015, the organization launched ANSEP STEM Teacher to further remedy Alaska’s rural education issues by supporting students pursuing STEM-related teaching certificates. ANSEP plans to place one ANSEP STEM Teacher in every Alaska village by 2025.