By: Diversity Committee Chair Amanda Upton
Editor’s Note: Since its inception, the Collaborative has worked to address the needs of diverse students and teachers. In 2019, its Diversity Committee launched an even more focused initiative to address these needs.
The Collaborative’s Diversity Committee has been actively engaging with diverse education leaders, which, in turn, have provided the Collaborative with valuable insights regarding STEAM and equity, bringing a richer perspective to our work. By strengthening the Collaborative’s membership with expert diverse perspectives and including experts in various disciplines, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and diverse audiences, we continue to gain greater insight. These unique perspectives help ensure we are more effective, with the highest standards, and are addressing the needs of the diverse populations. This work aligns with our mission of fostering transdisciplinary learning through creativity, innovation, and equity in teaching and learning.
To that end, we are excited to welcome, as part of the Collaborative, administrators and educators who are working with us to enrich our work with diverse populations. Lillian Poats, PhD, Professor, College of Education, Texas Southern University, an HBCU, is currently engaging in our K-12 classroom and teacher professional development.
Bernell Peltier-Glaze, PhD, Interim Dean and Professor, College of Education, Texas Southern University, is providing culturally responsive teaching for all teachers in the Collaborative’s National Endowment for the Arts-funded national online teacher professional development and is assisting with the Collaborative’s out-of-school time project. Dr. Poats and Dr. Peltier-Glaze are both involving Texas Southern University’s current and past student teachers in our teacher professional development initiatives.
Sharon Delesbore, PhD, who is a Fort Bend (TX) Independent School District (HISD) middle school administrator and president of the Association for Multicultural Science Education (AMSE), is working on the Collaborative’s Strategic Plan Committee and has provided valuable insight with her expertise on equity and diversity and how the Collaborative can best frame the Strategic Plan in an inclusive manner.
Florentia Spires, STEM Instructional Leader in Prince George’s County Public Schools (MD) and the National Science Teaching Association’s (NSTA) District III (DE, DC, and MD) Director, has joined the Collaborative’s K-12 Effective Practices Committee.
The Collaborative also has two award-winning diverse science educators, Richard Embrick, from the Houston, Texas area, and Melissa Collins from Memphis, Tennessee. In our out-of-school time initiative, we are pleased to welcome Jasmine Sadler, an aerospace engineer, mathematician, and dancer, who leads the STEAM Collaborative in San Diego, CA. All of these educators bring personal and professional perspectives that are enriching the Collaborative’s work in a manner that can only be brought to the table by their life experiences. We welcome them and look forward to continuous engagement with their expertise.