CMU working to encourage women, minorities in STEM careers - WNEM TV 5

CMU working to encourage women, minorities in STEM careers

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 “We are addressing a national crisis where females and minorities are not pressing careers in engineering and computers as readily as white males,” said Heidi Mahon, director of student services in the College of Science and Technology.

But Central Michigan University is hoping to change that.

Today the AT&T Foundation donated $15,000 to the university to encourage female and minorities to get into stem careers.

“Central Michigan’s largest numbers of majors are in the science and the stem areas. This is a re-affirmation of the importance of students in those majors, but also students that are under-represented,” said CMU President George Ross.

The donated money will largely fund a summer robotics program for incoming freshmen. Classes that are taught by female role models in engineering.

“It really gives them a chance to transition from high school to university level. The rigor of university courses. And give them a comfort level because they're going to be in classes with a lot of people that don't look like them,” Ross said.

Michigan Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter attended the check presentation.

He said encouraging women and minorities in stem is not just great for them, but also for the state of Michigan.

“We look at what is the comeback of Michigan?” Cotter said. “We have so many employers across the state that are desperately seeking out employees, prospective employees that have an interest in science technology engineering and math.”

CMU also hopes to use the donation to fund a mentorship program in the future

“They'll build the confidence so they know they are capable of learning on their own. Even on a short amount of time that they'll have the skills to do very hard things,” Mahon said.

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