Focus on equity in education; chemistry teacher wins prize

Here are some of the latest news from Middle Tennessee State University.

Center for Equity, Justice and Equity

The Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education and the MTSU Education Trust recently joined to create the Center for Fairness, Justice and Equity. The center opened in the spring with Michelle Stevens at the helm.

CFJE’s mission is to cultivate an inclusive and diverse College of Education by intentionally recruiting diverse faculty, teacher candidates, and educational staff from a multitude of backgrounds.

“In addition to this personal and professional growth, I hope that the foundational work we have done over the past few months has been and will be truly beneficial to current and future WCC students, faculty and staff,” said Stevens.

A 2021 study published in SCORE’s State of Education in Tennessee publication showed that about 38% of Tennessee students are people of color, but only 14% of Tennessee teachers are, SCORE reported in 2021. data shows a strong demographic mismatch between black students and teachers. : only 2% of teachers are black men.

The primary goal of CFJE is to support a teacher preparation program with candidates, staff, and faculty who can best serve all students.

Iriarte-Gross STEM Innovator

Kristin McQueen, left, with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network, congratulates MTSU WISTEM Center Director Judith Iriarte-Gross on winning the 2022 TSIN Advocacy Excellence Award.

Judith Iriarte-Gross, professor of chemistry at MTSU and director of the Women in STEM Center, is the 2022 recipient of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network Excellence in Advocacy Award.

The Tennessee STEM Excellence Awards are designed to promote effective teaching strategies by recognizing and rewarding quality STEM teachers, highlighting effective advocacy partnerships at local and state levels, and sharing strategies for creating an innovative STEM culture at the within a school building, district and region.

The mission of the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network is to promote and expand the teaching and learning of STEM education in K-12 public schools in Tennessee.

Iriarte-Gross is nationally known for her advocacy for encouraging girls and women in science. She is involved in local and national programs supporting the recruitment, retention and graduation of girls and women in STEM education and careers.

Among Iriarte-Gross’s most notable accomplishments include launching the first Expanding Your Horizons conference in Tennessee—now called the Tennessee Girls in STEM Conference—in 1996. Through hands-on activities, this conference introduces girls in middle school and high school careers and mentors in STEM. .

“We invite role models to show girls that they can succeed in STEM and be an engineer, chemist or microbiologist,” said Iriarte-Gross, an MTSU faculty member since 1996. “We provide girls with the opportunity to explore STEM education and careers by talking with women in different STEM disciplines.

Other honors won by Iriarte-Gross include the MTSU Foundation Career Achievement Award, the William E. Bennett Award, an American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, and Women of Achievement-Tennessee by the Women in Higher Education Tennessee statewide organization.

Contact reporter Nancy DeGennaro at [email protected] Follow the news of the restaurant by subscribing Good Eats in the ‘Boro (and beyond) on Facebook and follow Murfreesboro eats on TikTok.

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