Research Enhance Program wins national award for inspiring STEM outreach

August 15, 2022

Insight into Diversity magazine honors TU research program for its diversity and inclusion work

president schatzel with science students performing research

Towson University’s Research Enhancement Program (REP) received the 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine Monday.

It is the latest in a series of honors for TU, which is committed to fostering an inclusive, equitable and collaborative community where people from all backgrounds, identities, abilities and life experiences are welcomed, valued and supported. 

REP introduces students to a variety of scientific disciplines early in their academic career through authentic research projects in multiple courses. Students gain valuable experience conducting laboratory work or field research and engage in the scientific process. Skills can be applied to internships, research opportunities, STEM careers and graduate school.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education, and The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

TU will be featured, along with 78 other recipients, in the September 2022 issue.

“We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication and mentorship for underrepresented students,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

The winners were selected based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives.

Insight into Diversity has also honored TU each of the last two years with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. It is the only national award for recognizing U.S. colleges and universities for demonstrating “an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses,” according to the magazine.

The HEED Award is open to all colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada and measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives; programs and outreach; student recruitment, retention and completion; and hiring practices. 

In addition, TU and Towson University Athletics earned the 2021 NCAA and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association’s 2021 Award for Diversity and Inclusion.

This award recognizes and celebrates the initiatives, policies and practices of athletics and conference offices that embrace diversity and inclusion across intercollegiate athletics. This can be achieved through community service, professional development, hiring practices or programming activities that enhance opportunities for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds and experiences.

“This award from Insight into Diversity is further recognition of Towson University's commitment to provide access and opportunity to all,” says Patricia Bradley, Vice President for Inclusion and Institutional Equity. “We remain thankful to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the $1 million STEM grant that allowed our students to engage in authentic research early in their academic careers. Dr. Laura Gough, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and her team have been instrumental in helping to retain a diverse study body in STEM fields and has better prepared them for both doctoral programs and the work force that awaits them.”