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National Science Foundation Invests $50M in Latinx STEM Program

Dean Maria Reyes, Vice President Dr. Kimberly Britt, Grant Coordinator, Catherine Mayorga are Principal Investigators NSF Grant Leadership & Students Microbiology student Daniel Kwon sterilizes instruments for a lab, led by instructor Robin Cotter

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $50 million to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in historically underrepresented communities. The NSF is investing these funds in five new alliances involving underrepresented communities in STEM education through the NSF INCLUDES National Network.

The INCLUDES network consists of 3,000 academic, public and private partners working to promote STEM across the United States.  The newly formed alliances will focus on food, energy and water systems, STEM inclusion of students with disabilities, identity-inclusive computing education, partnerships launching underrepresented and Latinx students. Institutions involved include the University of California Berkeley, University of Arizona, San Diego State University, Phoenix College, Arizona State University, Northeastern University, Auburn University and Duke University.

Maria Reyes, PC’s Dean of Industry & Public Service, serves as the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) principal investigator (PI) for the five-year grant, with PC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kimberly Britt and Biology faculty member Dr. Robin Cotter serving as co-PIs.

The ALRISE (Accelerate Latinx Representation In STEM Education) Alliance develops a network of faculty, staff, administrators, and students at 2-yr and 4-yr Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and emerging HSIs (eHSIs) to accelerate Latinx representation in STEM education.  The ALRISE Alliance aims to harness the collaborative power of institutions, educators, researchers, and employers to create a more welcoming environment for Latinx STEM students.

“The ALRISE Alliance is an important partnership between the public, private and academic sectors – increasing access to experiential learning for historically underrepresented students in STEM fields,” said Dean Maria Reyes. “We will work with the Tech Councils in six states to make these connections, and bring work-based and research experiences to students and develop the STEM workforce collaboratively.”

The Center for Broadening Participation in STEM at Arizona State University (ASU), provides leadership to connect and collaborate four Regional Hubs, coordinating 26 Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and emerging HSIs (eHSIs) institutional members, and their STEM Planning educator teams.

“Partnerships like this break down barriers and create pathways for students who might not otherwise get these opportunities during the first two years of their college experience, and we are proud to be doing this work with our regional partner Arizona State University,” stated PC Vice President of Academic Affairs and co-PI, Dr. Kimberly Britt.

The ALRISE Alliance also provides professional development for faculty, staff and industry to serve Latinx students with intentionality through culturally-responsive undergraduate research and work-based experiential learning. 

Co-PI, Robin Cotter added, "By integrating research projects into the existing curriculum, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) make research more inclusive and accessible to a broader range of students.  The ALRISE Alliance will provide training and resources to help STEM faculty create more of these work-based experiences for their students."





Learn More 

To read more about the NSF STEM-focused inclusion alliance, visit:

To learn more about undergraduate research opportunities and work-based experiences at Phoenix College, visit:  and

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