McKelvey Engineering launches seminar series on race, STEM education

In light of national conversations surrounding systemic racism, the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis will host a virtual seminar series on topics related to race and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

The series, titled "Education, Engineering & Race," is organized by Princess Imoukhuede, associate professor of biomedical engineering; Joseph O'Sullivan, the Samuel C. Sachs Professor of Electrical Engineering; Lori Setton, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering; and Jessica Wagenseil, associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science.

"We have an opportunity to come together as a community to better understand practices and policies in STEM education and engineering that support systemic racism," Setton said. "These are very clear obstacles to achieving our greatest objectives to provide educational opportunity and advance research to improve the human condition."

The seminar series will kick off July 30, when Odis Johnson will present "#ShutDownSTEM: Connecting Race and Policing to STEM Inequities."

Johnson is a professor of sociology and education; director of the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies (ICQCM); and associate director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity in the College of Arts & Sciences at WashU.

Future speakers include:

  • Ebony McGee, who will present "Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation" on Aug. 13; and
  • Brian Jefferson, who will present "Digitize and Punish: Racial Criminalization in the Digital Age" on Aug. 27.

McGee is an associate professor of Diversity and STEM Education and principal investigator for the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational and Mixed Methodologies at Vanderbilt University, and Jefferson is an associate professor of geography and geographic information science and the O'Connell Scholar at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

All seminar events will be followed by 30-minute moderated breakout discussions.

Registration for this event is required and can be completed online.