The Henry Luce Foundation is proud to announce its continuing support of efforts to advance diversity within the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This year’s grants awarded through its Clare Boothe Luce Program for Women in STEM and STEM Convergence Initiative total nearly $11.3 million.
“This new group of grantees reflects our ongoing commitment to supporting diverse women in STEM. We are especially excited about the impact that our STEM Convergence grants can make in closing the gender gap in academia, business, and leadership,” said Aida Gureghian, the Foundation’s new director of leadership programs.
This year’s CBL Program grants will assist approximately 127 women over the next six years. Twelve higher education institutions, including four minority serving institutions, were selected. Combined with grants to 13 institutions supported in perpetuity (per Clare Boothe Luce’s will), this program awarded nearly $9.5 million in support of women pursuing studies and careers in STEM.
The Foundation’s CBL Program encourages women to study and teach in STEM disciplines in which there is a significant gender gap, and has awarded grants for professorships, graduate fellowships, undergraduate research, and undergraduate scholarships at higher education institutions since 1989.
Dr. John DiTusa, dean of the School of Science at Indiana University, one of the program’s newest grantees, said that these funds, “will reduce, and in some cases, eliminate the cost of attendance for women students in science and engineering programs. This crucial financial support, along with the recognition provided by the award, will encourage and assist women in their junior year persist and complete their degrees.”
For Ann Gates, senior vice provost for faculty affairs at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the CBL Program provides essential professional development opportunities, allowing recipients to, “learn from leaders at UTEP and beyond, and impact students and faculty in their own commitments to increase female representation in STEM.” UTEP leads in several national efforts to increase Hispanic representation in STEM among faculty and students.
The University of Dayton, a grantee that has worked with the Foundation since 1990, situates the CBL Program alongside other robust offerings supporting students and staff in STEM. Beth Hart, director of the Women Engineering Program, and Sam Dorf, associate director of research for the university’s honors program, shared details about the university’s Women in Science and Engineering Integrated Learning-Living Community, which, “allows women to live in community with others, bringing academic discussions and success into their housing.” The university also found that students who lived in community were more likely to remain within engineering and graduate than their non-participating peers.
The work of the Clare Boothe Luce Program is complemented by the Foundation’s STEM Convergence Initiative, which aims to encourage innovative, interdisciplinary approaches, and full participation of women of color in STEM disciplines. The program made $1.825 million worth of grants in 2022. New grantees include the American Indian Science Engineering Society (AISES) for its program, “Rematriation: Indigenous Womxn in STEM Leadership,” and general operating support for the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences’ “AIMS Women in Science” (AIMSWIS) program.