Public Release: 

AAAS recognizes three universities with Bronze Awards for STEM equity achievement change

American Association for the Advancement of Science

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Boston University, the University of California, Davis and the University of Massachusetts Lowell are being recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM and furthering positive change in their institution's relevant policies and practice.

The STEM Equity Achievement (SEA) Change initiative at AAAS will present the three universities with a Bronze Award on February 13, 2019 at the AAAS Annual Meeting. These are the first awards given by the SEA Change initiative at AAAS, which launched in 2018 to encourage institutional transformation in support of diversity and inclusion by ensuring that the full range of talent can be recruited, retained and advanced in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics.

"It is time for our colleges and universities to take the leap and make real institutional change a priority in order to diversify the STEM workforce and provide quality education to all," said Shirley Malcom, senior advisor at AAAS. "We recognize the significant efforts of the three institutions who have committed to undertaking this transformation with SEA Change Bronze Award certification."

Each university selected to receive a SEA Change Bronze Award met the following criteria: conducted a self-assessment using SEA Change principles; identified barriers preventing inclusion and equity in STEM across institutions and departments; developed an action plan to address the barriers identified; and committed to regular review and assessment - by an independent panel of experts - of the action plan and progress made.

Boston University is recognized for its innovation in supporting undergraduates transitioning from high school to college, including identification of students more likely to need support and targeted advising; and for parental leave policies and support for faculty and graduate students.

University of California, Davis is recognized for its innovative approaches to hiring faculty, including the use and review of diversity statements; to policies addressing faculty salary equity; and to outreach and engagement with local communities.

University of Massachusetts Lowell is recognized for making development of a more inclusive culture a focus of the institution's strategic plan; and the use of multiple methods to assess institutional culture in ways that inform their action plan.

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U.S. academic institutions are encouraged to consider joining SEA Change to facilitate the development of an equity self-assessment and improvement framework for higher education. Currently in its pilot stage, SEA Change will develop diversity, equity and inclusion resources - including a research repository and community networking and trainings - to be shared with, and used by, participating institutions.

For additional information about the SEA Change initiative and its awards program, visit https://seachange.aaas.org.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

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