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.
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
3/ USM SEA Change Membership