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GEMS Overview

Originally established in September 2021, USM’s Jimmy Payne Foundation granted a team of USM Faculty from Biological Sciences, Polymer Sciences, Higher Education, & Science Education to begin developing a variety of gender equity initiatives in STEM disciplines at USM. GEMS represents the community of USM stakeholders committed to turning Southern Miss not only into a pillar of equity in STEM disciplines on the local level, but also help inform national level efforts toward advancing equity in STEM.

Past Projects:

Since the founding of our group, we have played a major role in establishing USM as a charter member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) SEA Change, and we have provided 4 mini-grants programs for faculty engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion work in STEM disciplines at USM.  

1/ GEMS Leadership Team

The GEMS Leadership Teams is currently engaged in the following projects:

  • Seek out an external funding foundation (e.g., NSF ADVANCE program) to improve the recruitment, retention, and professional development of underrepresented faculty in STEM disciplines at USM

  • Support the implementation of goals and initiatives related to SEA Change Membership and the GEMS taskforce 

2/ GEMS Task force

The GEMS Task Force is currently engaged in the following projects:

  • Develop and facilitate a holistic self-assessment of current practices, models, and sociocultural contexts underpinning STEM contexts at USM

  • Provide a second cycle of mini grants ($5,000) for 4 faculty engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion work in STEM disciplines

  • Continue to build community and capacity for advancing equitable STEM experiences at USM

SEA Change is a community of scholars and educators committed to furthering STEM fields while exemplifying the values of excellence, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Current Work:

3/ USM SEA Change Membership

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