Sonoma State Awarded Collaborative Grant to Close STEM Equity and Achievement Gaps



​​Sonoma State chemistry professors Carmen Works and Jennifer Whiles Lillig are working with professors at three other colleges to create online transferable modules for gateway STEM courses that will be available to college faculty across California. The project looks to create more equitable and inclusive classrooms and combat evidence showing underrepresented students, such as women and students of color, leave science in greater numbers than majority students.

“Jenn and I are both very excited to do this meaningful work with great collaborators, especially Paul Daubenmire from College of Marin, for coordinating a dynamic team,” Dr. Works said. “We have both spent almost two decades at SSU developing these types of learning and teaching approaches and feel grateful that our efforts have been recognized.”

The online modules will focus on introductory-level STEM courses, specifically in chemistry. Dr. Works, Dr. Whiles Lillig and the six other co-principal investigators will develop modules and classroom strategies to engage underrepresented students and help increase their access to support networks. In addition, the team will create faculty development modules to educate chemistry faculty so that they foster student learning and a student’s sense of belonging. The research phase of the project began in summer 2019, with the grant extending through June 2022.