AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin on Friday (Feb. 11) will be honored by the Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network for the institution’s important contribution to the number of doctoral degrees in the fields of mathematics, the physical sciences and engineering (MPSE) earned by African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians and Hispanics.
UT Austin is one of 27 doctoral degree-granting institutions being recognized at the Ninth Annual National Conference of QEM’s Mathematics, Science and Engineering (MSE) Network.
Pedro Reyes, associate dean of graduate studies and professor of educational administration, will accept the award on behalf of the University during a special ceremony at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C., that will be attended by representatives from 25 of the award-winning institutions.
The QEM Network issued its findings in a report titled “Top Producers of Minority Doctoral Degree Recipients in Mathematics, Computer Science, the Physical Sciences and Engineering.” Data contained in the report covered the period 1990-1997 and came from the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates sponsored by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.
In reflecting upon the upcoming conference and ceremony, QEM President Shirley McBay said, “The network is focusing on the doctoral level because it is important to more fully understand the reasons minorities receive so few MPSE doctorates — as well as to recognize those institutions that are making a difference. Together, the 27 institutions we are honoring accounted for almost 50 percent of the MPSE doctoral degrees received by minorities between 1990 and 1997, although they represented less than 10 percent of U.S. institutions offering such degrees.”
UT Austin also will be recognized for its track record in producing undergraduates who successfully pursued Ph.D. degrees in MPSE fields between 1991 and 1995.
During a conference plenary session, to be moderated by Richard Nicholson, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Reyes will discuss some of the reasons for the institution’s success in preparing minority doctoral recipients in mathematics, the physical sciences and engineering — fields in which non-Asian minority groups are most underrepresented.
QEM is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving education for minorities. This year’s conference, titled Preparing Ph.D.’s for Success in the 21st Century, is focusing on programs and strategies for preparing and supporting minority students through the successful completion of doctoral study in mathematics, science and engineering. Joining in the discussion will be faculty and doctoral students from institutions across the nation.
The 27 institutions being honored are: City University of New York Graduate Center, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Howard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, Stanford University, Texas A&M University, The Pennsylvania State University Park, University of Arizona, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Diego, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Florida, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Maryland College Park, University of Miami, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Pennsylvania, University of Puerto Rico Rio Pedras Campus, UT Austin, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.