CSI to host new Center for Equitable Environmental Sciences (CEES)!
Would more Latinx students graduate with a STEM degree if the coursework was made to feel more personal to them? This was a question Professor Dolores Inés Casillas began to look into when she felt the palpable enthusiasm with which Latinx science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors took her survey course on Chicana and Chicano culture at UC Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara Independent covered the recently awarded HSI-NSF award.
"Casillas developed an interdisciplinary program called the Center for Equitable Environmental Sciences to focus on social and environmental justice. She didn’t work alone — Sarah Anderson, the dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management joined her, alongside David Pellow, who heads the school’s Environmental Studies department, and physicist Pierre Wiltzius, who holds the chair of the Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science.
The new group recently received a $3 million National Science Foundation award, which came as the school also received a $1 million grant awarded from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Both grants targeted institutions that serve a student body with 25 percent or more Hispanic or Latinx student enrollment, or a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), a title UCSB received in 2015."