Welcome to another edition of Kaleidoscope, the newsletter for the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DDEI). As you can see, this newsletter looks a little different than our previous ones. We hope you enjoy our new format, which is mobile-friendly and accessible for our readers with disabilities.
This year has been one of growth and transition for us. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, we, like all of you, had to figure out a way to adapt and still do the work we are called to do. For us, that meant embracing Zoom and taking our events and programs virtual. Little did we realize at the time, but those virtual events have allowed us to expand our programs statewide. Our camps are no longer limited to those within driving distance of the UAMS campus. Now students from Texarkana, Marianna, Decatur and Piggott — and all points in between — can attend our summer camps and other programs. We’re truly making a difference all over Arkansas.
This year, we also introduced two new summer programs — the DDEI Student-Athlete STEM Academy and the Pre-Health Scholars Program. In all, more than 360 students attended those programs and our two Junior STEM academies, Senior STEM Academy, the Academy of Pre-Health Scholars and the Pre-Medical Summer Scholars.
Finally, in these pages you will learn more about Shanea Morrison Nelson, Ph.D., who we have hired to serve as the executive director of Pathways Academy, a comprehensive learning and community engagement program focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and health care disciplines for students in public middle and high schools across Arkansas. This year-round program is funded by an $800,000 grant from the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
Thanks to all your efforts, UAMS and the Division for Diversity Equity and Inclusion are continuing to make an impact on the lives of all Arkansans.
Brian Gittens, Ed.D., MPS
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences