Chawne Kimber in front of a blackboardChawne Kimber, professor of mathematics and department head, was recently interviewed for a story about diversity in STEM by Inside Higher Ed.

The story discussed the practice of hiring faculty who can demonstrate they have the skills and experience to advance diversity goals at an institution.

Kimber shared how Lafayette’s math department has worked to promote an inclusive culture and create a welcoming environment for all students. The department, for example, offers a workshop-style calculus course that gives first-year students the opportunity to not only learn about problem solving, but to also learn other skills that help with their transition to college. The department also now has another calculus class for students who plan to major in less math-intensive STEM fields. “We don’t want to be the obstacle to what students want to study. We want to open the gate instead of making them climb over it,” Kimber said.

In regard to hiring practices, Kimber said “all departments weigh this diversity factor differently,” and that the math department’s allows “for a variety of venues for a candidate to demonstrate that the are active, aware or educable.”

The story also highlights the College’s new Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education, which serves as a home for research and programming and addresses the national need to recruit more women and underrepresented minorities to the sciences.

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