University of Richmond URISE Program Recognized Nationally for Commitment to Underrepresented Groups in STEM Fields

August 15, 2018

STEM award logoUniversity of Richmond’s URISE program has received the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

This award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups entering the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Winners were 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.

URISE, which stands for University of Richmond Integrated Science Experience, is a pre-first-year program that focuses on skill development, provides authentic research experiences, and builds a community of support for the 24 students who participate in the program each summer before starting classes in the fall. It is part of UR’s Integrated Inclusive Science Program.

“URISE takes two main hallmarks of a Richmond education—close faculty relationships and hands-on research—to provide students generally underrepresented in the STEM fields a high quality and distinct educational experience before they’ve even had their first class on campus,” said University of Richmond President Ronald A. Crutcher. “This recognition is a testament to the success of the URISE concept and the commitment of our faculty mentors.”

“Our faculty are research-active and are passionate about cultivating research skills and critical inquiry in our students. URISE is a wonderful example of this commitment,”   said Patrice Rankine, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “We know that project-based research within a cohort factors into student success, and first-year college students especially benefit from these practices. URISE is a great introduction to conducting research in a diverse team of researchers.

“URISE participants conduct research under the mentorship of faculty and URISE alumni, often resulting in lasting relationships,” said chemistry professor Kristine Nolin. “The URISE experience prepares the participants for the transition into being scientists, scholars, and thriving members of the UR community.

“URISE has been instrumental in removing barriers in STEM education and building a diverse community of learners at the University of Richmond,” said Shannon Jones, coordinator of the URISE program. “I'm extremely honored to be a part of such an important program.”

“We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond,” said Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

UR will be featured, along with 77 other recipients, in the September 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.