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Professor appointed to prestigious National Science Foundation ADVANCE office, HSI program

Friday, September 14, 2018 • Media Contact: Herb Booth

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A University of Texas at Arlington mathematics professor has accepted a one-year position in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Education and Human Resource Development as Program Director of the ADVANCE and Hispanic-Serving Institutions or HSI programs.

Minerva Cordero

Minerva Cordero

Minerva Cordero, a UTA mathematics professor and an associate dean in the College of Science, said working with these programs is meaningful because it builds upon her work and expertise on key issues facing women and other historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM fields.

Her goals will be to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM careers and to increase the opportunities for HSIs.

“The number of women obtaining STEM doctorate degrees has increased steadily in recent decades,” Cordero said. “However, women continue to be underrepresented in STEM academic positions, especially at senior ranks and in leadership positions.”

Maria Martinez-Cosio, associate vice provost and associate professor of public affairs, said the NSF position continues a tradition of UTA faculty and administrators serving in the national agency.

“UTA receives so much through these national committee appointments,” Martinez-Cosio said. “Those who serve return with knowledge to help our faculty advance their research.”

Colleen Fitzgerald, UTA professor of linguistics, is serving in her fourth year with NSF and the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C.

The NSF ADVANCE office supports development of innovative organizational change strategies to enhance gender equity in STEM academics in non-profit institutions of higher education. Projects must include comprehensive evaluation and rigorous social science research.

In 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, more than 160 different institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations have received ADVANCE grants totaling more than $270 million between 2001 and 2016.

The HSI program seeks to enhance the quality of undergraduate STEM education at HSIs and to increase retention and graduation rates of undergraduate students pursuing degrees in STEM fields at HSIs. The HSI program is aligned with NSF’s commitment to increase access for underrepresented groups to the nation’s STEM enterprise. UTA attained the HSI designation in 2014, a reflection of its diverse student population.

Cordero, who has been at UTA since 2001, has focused on bringing more women and minorities to STEM-related fields. She’s currently the director of UTA’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation’s Bridge-to-Doctorate Fellowship program. She also managed UTA’s NSF GK-12 MAVS Program. Cordero also was the director of the TexPREP Program and associate dean of the UTA Honors College.

Cordero has received many honors for her outstanding teaching, service and outreach activities.  Among them are the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, a UTA Distinguished Faculty Award, a Ford Corp. Mujeres Legendarias award, and many other awards from UTA and national organizations.

Cordero was in the faculty at Texas Tech University before joining UTA.