PSU forms council to advance STEM goals
Author: John Kirkland
Posted: November 14, 2012

Portland State University has formed a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) council to provide leadership in PSU’s efforts to expand opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to succeed in STEM courses and careers.

The STEM Council will facilitate PSU’s role as an incubator of STEM innovations in teaching, learning, and research.  

Council members are Prof. Liza Finkel, associate dean in the Graduate School of Education; Prof. James Hook, associate dean in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science; and Prof. Gwen Shusterman from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Prof. Shusterman will serve as the STEM liaison, connecting the work of the council with campus and community members.  

STEM fields are essential drivers of innovations affecting a huge array of economic, scientific and social factors throughout the world. PSU is widely recognized for its STEM leadership, interdisciplinary approaches to education and research, and community partnerships.

“The council’s work is guided by the belief that all students can be successful, and that collaboration across STEM fields and the education continuum will create more opportunities for innovation and collective impact leading to increased student success,” said Sona Andrews, PSU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs. 

“It is also guided by the recognition of the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to STEM that encourages collaboration across a wide range of disciplines.”

The council’s goals include:

  • Working within the metro area to enhance P-12 students’ level of preparation and readiness for college-level work in STEM fields and promoting interest in STEM careers; 
  • Investing in the capacity of PSU faculty to design and teach undergraduate STEM courses and curricula that better engage students, increase their numbers, and enhance and deepen their learning;
  • Promoting a measurable increase in enrollments and in the diversity of students enrolled in STEM courses and majors, and an increasing the number of STEM degrees conferred annually; 
  • Preparing students to be citizens who can address global and local challenges (e.g., energy, environment, health, food) in the context of economic and community development.