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Engineering College Dean To Speak On The History Of Blacks In STEM Fields

Apr 12, 2018

Dr. Stephanie Adams, Dean of Engineering, Old Dominion University

History of Blacks in Stem: Not Hidden Figures is the title of the talk Dr. Stephanie Adams will give at Metro Community College on Monday, April 16th.

Adams is the Dean of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.  She was with the UNL College of Engineering from 1998 to 2008, concluding her time there as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. 

Adams says the award-winning 2016 movie, Hidden Figures, brought to light for the public what she and her colleagues in the STEM fields have known for years.

“There’s been an effort for 40 years to increase the number of women and people of color in STEM. The movie just gave us a public visual of the role that African Americans have played in STEM, the challenges they faced, and the omissions in a lot of sectors.  So, the movie just brought it to light for everybody else, but those of us in the profession have been aware of this problem for a while.”

Undergraduate enrollment in engineering is up significantly since 2005, which Adams attributes to the increased focus on STEM at the K-12 level. 

However, she says currently only 2.3% of the engineering faculty nationwide are African American, and less than 1% are African American women. 

Dr. Adams will speak Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Swanson Conference Center on Metro Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus. 

For more information, the website is MCCneb.edu – search community events.