Roles and Responsibilities of the Staff
Members of the PE-STEM Program project team are all STEM teaching and research faculty who have identified the need to improve the recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented students in their fields. Each has expertise in STEM research and instruction. The Project Team also has had the experience of collaborating and implementing two successful recent MSEIPs (Black et al., 2015; Ardley et al., 2018; Clark et al., 2015 & 2019). Improving student preparation would benefit the students, teaching and research faculty in STEM, and the university overall.
Responsibility for different aspects of the projects has been delegated between the three Project Directors, the Internal Advisory Council, and staff. Project Directors Clayton Clark, II, Tiffany Ardley, and Jason Black, coordinate all activities, including recruitment of graduate and undergraduate tutors and mentors; hosting, scheduling, and oversight of all administrative duties related to the summer camp and year-round activities, including the annual PE-STEM Symposium; and the producing of all reports and evaluation activities. The Project Coordinator, April Black, assists in preparing and implementing program activities including the administrative duties related to the summer camp; year-round meeting activities; and reporting and evaluation activities. Activities related to mentorship and laboratory experience will be administered by the Project Team, which includes the Project Directors and the Internal Advisory Council, made up of collaborative faculty. Graduate student tutors are responsible for the preparatory classes and for assisting in conducting evaluation activities. The undergraduate mentors are responsible for monitoring the participation of the Program students, facilitating their attendance to summer classes and summer research activities.
The Program utilizes Program Evaluation Services, Inc (Dr. Gina Beckles, The Beckles Group). to coordinate the evaluation of the Enrichment Program (see Letter of Support). This entity is responsible for collection and evaluation of the metrics used to determine the effectiveness of the Program, which include, but are not limited to, overall GPA, STEM GPA, selection of STEM majors in college, retention rates, research involvement, and graduation rates of the students in the STEM disciplines on a semester-by-semester basis to analyze student and program outcomes.
History of the Coordinators
Back in 1986, as high school classmates and friends in Tallahassee, Florida, Clayton Clark II, PhD (Environmental Engineering)., Jason Black, PhD (Computer Science), and Tiffany Wilson-Ardley, PhD (Medicinal Chemistry), took classes during a STEM summer program for high school students at Florida A&M University. While there, they were constantly challenged to be creative, strive for excellence and to pay it forward. It was primarily their exposure to STEM in this program that led them to pursue college degrees in the STEM areas mentioned above, and eventually PhDs. Now, more than 25 years later, the trio is working to answer that call, having collectively been awarded more than $1 Million dollars in grant and research funding for programs designed to recruit and motivate high school students, particularly underrepresented and at-risk students, to pursue and excel in college majors and potential careers in STEM disciplines.
Through the successes of their various programs, the professors were moved to form their own company, ABC's STEM Consulting, LLC, which has constructed several models of effective learning and academic and professional development for educators, researchers, administrators, and others interested in improving the STEM preparation of today's youth. “We agreed that we must to do something to improve the downward trends of students pursuing STEM degrees in the U.S.", said Ardley. “We want to reach back and assist other kids, just like us, in realizing their dreams of being scientists and researchers, just like we were able to do.”, said Clark. Said Black, "We had no choice but to pay it forward; we LOVE what we do!"
External Projects by Staff
To further extend their expertise to the community at-large the Project Staff have developed a consulting firm, ABC STEM Consulting, LLC. ABC's goal is to customize our STEM-focused educational models to fit your educational needs. Our experienced experts have the skills to train and develop your administrators, educators and instructors in providing resources to excite, engage and equip your students to become STEM leaders of tomorrow. Our models involve strong interactive instruction, mentoring, teacher development, college readiness, career and professional development, and research exposure. By providing you with resources for effective evaluation, our models can be fine-tuned for scalability. Since STEM preparation begins before college, our models can also be implemented to strengthen overall STEM academic preparation of your students, which will aid in increasing overall standardized test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness.
To learn more about ABC STEM Consulting, LLC, click HERE.