Written by Materials Ph.D. student, Chelsea Catania.
The article orginally appeared in the online magazine "ImpactMania". To read the entire story, please click here.
Unfortunately, it is accepted that the pipeline in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields is leaky—a term referring to the unintended loss of trainees from the disciplines; specifically, women and underrepresented groups. Fostering an open and diverse scientific community that draws from an array of unique experiences and perspectives is necessary to develop world-class talent in STEM. Policymakers and educators have put a lot of effort into broadening participation, but more needs to be done at different points along this “pipe”.
The biggest “leak” of underrepresented minority (URM) group participation in STEM occurs in the transition from undergraduate to graduate school. Roughly one out of every three non-URMs go to graduate school after graduating from a STEM program, compared to one out of four URMs graduates.  The higher rate of loss in URMs at the graduate level ultimately results in disproportionate representation in the professional workforce. Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Barbara have pinpointed a unique opportunity where they can make a difference. . .
To read the remainder of Chelsea's article at ImpactMania, please click here.