PASADENA, Calif. – Representatives with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Great Minds in STEM recently signed a partnership agreement to assist underserved students in STEM careers.
A memorandum of understanding was signed Oct. 12 during the 35th GMIS conference’s National STEM Heroes Awards dinner at the Pasadena Convention Center.
The agreement provides a cooperative framework for the Corps and GMIS to increase participation of underserved students in STEM careers.
The agreement was signed by Maj. Gen. Kimberly Colloton, the Corps’ deputy commanding general for Military and Interagency and International Services, on behalf of Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, commanding general of the Corps, and Juan Rivera, chairman of the board for GMIS. Other senior leaders from both the Corps and GMIS also participated in the event.
“First, this isn’t the first MOU between Great Minds in STEM and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Maj. Gen. (retired) Mark Toy, a current GMIS board member and former Corps’ commander. “Our organizations have a history of formal agreements that have empowered us to make real change on the ground in unserved communities all over the country.”
According to Toy, both GMIS and the Corps have a vision to attain diversification in STEM leadership that better reflects national demographics.
“We will employ a variety of strategies to achieve this, including increasing the enrollment of the underserved Americans in STEM majors at U.S. colleges and enhancing the visibility of USACE as a viable potential employer for all students in STEM careers,” Toy said.
The goal is to identify and implement initiatives to increase workforce opportunities for underserved STEM students and Corps’ professionals.
“We renewed our commitment to identify initiatives that may increase workforce opportunities for underserved STEM students and professionals at USACE. As we in the Army, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers want to provide opportunities where STEM students and professionals can realize their best self,” said Colloton.
“Be All You Can Be!,” said Colloton.
Upon completion of the signing, each of the Corps’ participants were presented with a commemorative 35th anniversary of the organization “Challenge Coin.” The Challenge Coin was in memory of the late founder of GMIS, Ray Bagano.