(June 10, 2010)--The UTSA College of Education and Human Development Academy for Teacher Excellence recently welcomed educational experts from across the nation for the inaugural two-day Summit on Latino Student Success. The summit provided an opportunity for professors, superintendents and educational researchers to discuss transforming STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) pedagogies and policies.
On the first day, Juan Sepulveda, director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, spoke to the conference. His comments were streamed using Skype technology software from his Washington, D.C., office.
Sepulveda discussed President Barack Obama's 2020 initiative to have the highest percentage of population in the world to earn a college degree. Currently, the United States is ranked No. 10 in the world in the number of undergraduate degrees produced. Sepulveda answered questions and invited attendees to submit STEM success stories in their universities and high schools to share with others for possible duplication.
"We want to see outcomes as a result of these critical analyses and dialogues to transform more Latino students in these STEM field areas," said Belinda Flores, summit organizer and principal investigator in the Academy for Teacher Excellence."
Another conference highlight was a panel discussion by three women who are pioneers in the STEM fields. Profiled in the book "Paths to Discovery: Autobiography from Chicanas with Careers in Science, Mathematics and Engineering," Elvia Niebla, Elma Gonzalez and Diana Marinez discussed obstacles and challenges they overcame to become professors and administrators in the areas of biology, biochemistry and global-change research.
In the final day of the conference, there were presentations on STEM policy implications at the state and national level by state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, state Rep. Mike Villarreal and Sarita Brown, executive director of Excelencia in Education.
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