October 16, 2019

Attracting students into STEM, health care fields is the focus of a Saturday workshop at SIU

CARBONDALE, ILL -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Saturday will participate via livestream in a statewide program exploring ways to attract more students, particularly underrepresented students, into STEM and health care-related fields in Illinois. 

The “Accelerating Diversity in STEM and Health-Related Careers Statewide Summit” is from 8:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 19. The summit will be in Chicago, but the Student Center’s Old Main Room will be host to the regional live stream. Thomas Shaw, an associate professor of health care management in the School of Health Sciences, is the moderator. 

Admission is free and the conference is open to the public. Seats are still available but pre-registration is required for lunch planning purposes. On-site registration is not available. Registration for the regional live stream is available as well

More information is available on the workshop’s website

Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will be the opening keynote speaker. Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton will provide closing keynote remarks. 

Linda Baker, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and university professor, said the program’s focus will be exploring present challenges for attracting students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, including those in health care professions. 

The summit goals include:

  • Developing a statewide agenda for exposing, recruiting and retaining youth and young adults of color to STEM related fields.
  • Identifying specific needs.
  • Sharing resources.
  • Linking programs and communities through best practices. 

SIU Carbondale and SMASH Illinois are among program sponsors. The SMASH Illinois program focuses on core STEM skills to empower underrepresented students to pursue STEM and excel in the rising “HealthTech” industry.  

Earlier this year, SMASH, the signature STEM education program of the Kapor Center, announced SMASH Illinois, its first statewide initiative program partnership in conjunction with Illinois Institute of Technology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Creating Pathways and Access for Student Success Foundation.