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Students and faculty from VCU focus on access, inclusion, and equity in the 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase

Checking out some local mussels
Checking out some local mussels in the Flint River, GA. Credit: Jeremy Monroe (Freshwaters Illustrated). Featured (left-to-right): Denzell Cross; Ayi Ajavon.

Diversity is low in many STEM fields, particularly in the ecological and environmental sciences. But aquatic ecologist Daniel McGarvey, an Associate Professor in the Center for Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, is working hard to change that. He and a group of colleagues from the University of Georgia, University of California-Berkeley and Georgia Southern University are driving a major effort to increase diversity in freshwater science; together, they lead the Emerge program. Now their work will be featured in the 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Scheduled from May 10th - 17th, 2022, the STEM for All Video Showcase will feature over 250 innovative projects aimed at improving science, technology, math, engineering and computer science education, all of which have been funded by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies.

The theme for this year’s Showcase is “Access, Inclusion, and Equity.” A diverse slate of projects will be featured, all of which seek to broaden participation in STEM. Throughout the eight-day event, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and the general public are invited to watch the short videos, discuss them with the presenters online, and vote for their favorites.

Professor McGarvey's submission, entitled “Emerge: Broadening Participation and Leadership in Freshwater Science,” features some year one highlights from the Emerge program that will likely help it to stand out from other Showcase submissions. He explains: "I expect there will be some awesome projects featured in the 2022 STEM for All Showcase. But I'm betting Emerge will be the only project that is getting a hyper-diverse group of young scientists out into the creeks and wetlands and mud. Our project has assembled participants from remarkably different backgrounds, and we will need every one of them to ensure the future of ecology and environmental science. Each of these talented young people has an important role to play."

To learn more, visit the Emerge program website where you can view the Emerge video, along with the other impactful videos in the 2022 STEM for All Video Showcase. You can also register for a reminder of when “Emerge: Broadening Participation and Leadership in Freshwater Science” will be screened.

If you'd like to know more about the Emerge program, contact Daniel McGarvey, Virginia Commonwealth University, Center for Environmental Studies at [email protected]

Flint River 3
Heading back to base camp on the Flint River, GA. Credit: Jeremy Monroe (Freshwaters Illustrated). Featured (left-to-right): Felisha Walls (VCU student!); Crystal Liu.