Back to top

Promising Practices for Improving STEM Education through Minority-Serving Institutions

Friday, March 1, 2019
10:00am - 12:00pm PST
Community Partners
2nd Floor, Suite C 1000 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $0.00
Add to Calendar

Southern California Grantmakers’ College Access Group and the Education Funders Group are pleased to invite you to a panel discussion on the latest research from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS). Released in December 2018, the report, “Minority Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce,” examines promising practices for improving STEM education and research at the more than 700 Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) in the United States—including hundreds of MSIs in California. SCG’s very own member, ECMC Foundation, is among the sponsors of the study. 

MSIs provide more than 20 percent of the nation’s STEM bachelor’s degrees yet are often an overlooked resource for ensuring high quality education and training of the next generation of STEM-capable workers in the United States. The conversation will cover steps the postsecondary funding community can take to strengthen MSIs, from increasing college-industry-government partnerships to developing faculting and mentoring students along the range of STEM pathways.

The session will also include a discussion of one key intervention strategy that arose frequently—in the research and in the site visits undertaken by the committee:  The importance of mentoring in supporting the academic and social development of students at MSIs.  The National Academies have launched a new consensus study focused on the “science of mentoring,” and the value of mentoring will be discussed by the panel.


  • Kilan Ashad-Bishop, Science Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences
  • Maria Dahlberg, Program Officer, Board on Higher Education & Workforce, National Academy of Sciences
  • Lorelle Espinosa, Vice President, American Council on Education and Co-Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Study Committee on “Closing the Equity Gap.”
  • Tom Rudin, Director, Board on Higher Education & Workforce, National Academy of Sciences
  • Angela Sanchez, Program Officer, College Success, ECMC Foundation (Moderator)


Speaker Biographies


Kilan Ashad-Bishop

Science Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences
Kilan Ashad-Bishop is a molecular biologist and that is currently serving as a Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Fellow in the National Academy of Sciences with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce. She earned her Ph.D in Cancer Biology from the University of Miami and her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Morgan State University. Her research thus far has focused on characterizing the functional role of genetic factors in triple negative breast cancer development and progression, which she has presented at various domestic and international conferences. She also serves on the City of Miami Sea Level Rise Committee, where she combines her research background and community outreach and advocacy skills to advance policies that prioritize low-income communities in resilience planning. 


Maria Dahlberg
Program Officer
Board on Higher Education & Workforce, National Academy of Sciences

Maria Lund Dahlberg is the Study Director for the Consensus Study on the Science on Effective Mentoring in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and a Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce and the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Her work with the National Academies spans topics ranging from equity, inclusion, and diversity in science, through science communications, to postdoctoral research experiences, health care, and innovation ecosystems. She came to the National Academies by way of a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, which she received after completing all requirements short of finalizing the dissertation for her doctorate in physics at the Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Dahlberg holds a BA with high honors in physics from Vassar College and an MS in physics from the Pennsylvania State University

Lorelle Espinosa
Vice President for Research
American Council on Education

Lorelle Espinosa serves as ACE’s vice president for research. She is responsible for developing and managing the organization’s research agenda, including the portfolio of ACE’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy, which focuses on issues of diversity and equity in 21st century higher education, dynamic and resilient institutions, and transformational leadership. Her personal scholarship focuses on diversity and inclusion and STEM education, and she is co-chair of the National Academies study committee, "Closing the Equity Gap: Revitalizing STEM Education and Workforce Readiness Programs in the Nation’s Minority-Serving Institutions​." Espinosa has served the higher education profession for 20 years, beginning in student affairs and undergraduate admissions at the University of California, Davis; Stanford University; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has contributed opinion and scholarly works to peer-reviewed journals, academic volumes, and industry magazines on a variety of topics, and is a national thought leader on issues pertaining to college access and success for diverse populations. She has lived and worked in Washington for nine years and prior to ACE served as a senior analyst at Abt Associates and as director of policy and strategic initiatives at the Institute for Higher Education Policy. She currently serves on the boards of College Possible and the American Youth Policy Forum. Espinosa earned her Ph.D. in higher education and organizational change from the University of California, Los Angeles; her bachelor of arts from the University of California, Davis; and her associate of arts from Santa Barbara City College.

Tom Rudin
Board on Higher Education & Workforce, National Academies of Science

Tom Rudin is the Director of the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—a position he assumed in August 2014.  BHEW provides government, academic and industry leadership with analyses, insights, and recommendations designed to inform action on issues in higher education and the science and engineering workforce.  BHEW is a unit of the Policy and Global Affairs Division of the Academies. Prior to joining the National Academies, Mr. Rudin served as senior vice president for career readiness and senior vice president for advocacy, government relations and development at the College Board from 2006-2014.  He was also vice president for government relations from 2004-2006 and executive director of grants planning and management from 1996-2004 at the College Board.  Before joining the College Board, Mr. Rudin was a policy analyst at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1991, Mr. Rudin taught courses in U.S. public policy, human rights, and organizational management as a visiting instructor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.  In the early 1980s, he directed the work of the Governor’s Task Force on Science and Technology for North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University, and he holds master’s degrees in public administration and in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Angela Sanchez
Program Officer
College Success, ECMC Foundation

Angela is the Program Officer for College Success at the ECMC Foundation, a national funder focused exclusively on postsecondary education. The College Success focus area is geared toward increasing college persistence, two-year transfer, and bachelor degree completion for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Coming from Student affairs, Angela offers a background in student program development and assessment. Prior to ECMC Foundation, Angela provided the evaluation of UCLA’s Philanthropy Lab. Angela serves on the board of directors for School on Wheels, Inc., a Los Angeles-based nonprofit which supports homeless K-12 youth, and is the co-chair for Grantmakers for Education’s Postsecondary Access and Attainment Group.


No cost to participate


Who May Attend:

Open to current SCG and Education Funders Group members


SCG members: register online. You must log in to your account to register.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Geographic Location