Northeastern professors receive $1M HHMI grant for Inclusive Excellence initiative

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded a Northeastern University’s College of Science faculty members $1 million to create programming focused on diversity and inclusion initiatives for the natural science fields in higher education.

Chemistry professor Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen and Biology professor Dr. Wendy Smith will lead the project at Northeastern that will focus on training faculty on inclusive teaching and mentoring skills to include non-traditional students in the process of scientific discovery. “Minority and first-generation students are underrepresented in our science majors and we need to do a better job of including the whole talent pool,” said Ondrechen. “Improvements in curricula and in teaching and mentoring practices will create a better learning experience for all students.”

Ondrechen and Smith’s initiative, Northeastern University Skills and Capacity for Inclusion (NU-SCI), will aim to increase interest and success in the sciences for underrepresented minorities and first generation college students, using Northeastern’s renowned experiential learning approach as an educational foundation to the program.

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