North-Central Section - 57th Annual Meeting - 2023

Paper No. 10-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM


CAMERON, Barry I., Department of Geosciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, RAICU, Valerica, Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211, GRONERT, Scott, Interim Provost, Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MIlwaukee, WI 53211 and SAFFARINI, Daad, Associate Dean, Natural Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) developed the Inclusive Excellence 3 (IE3) initiative to substantially and sustainably build capacity for student belonging, especially for those who have been historically excluded from the sciences. UW-Milwaukee is one of fifteen universities funded as part of the Learning Community Cluster 7 (LCC7) to build effective partnerships between 2- and 4-year institutions. UW-Milwaukee will partner with the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) to increase the diversity of STEM transfer students to UW-Milwaukee. The goal is to holistically improve the educational experience for transfer students, increasing their matriculation, retention, wellbeing, graduation, and future success. UW-Milwaukee will implement the Transfer Playbook, but also extend it to integrate strategies for STEM students from underrepresented and minoritized backgrounds. We will annually hold Summer Institutes with our MATC partners to learn how to engage, support, and retain students on the transfer pathway. Another focus will be on supporting STEM MATC students from diverse backgrounds using peer mentors that have successfully transferred to UW-Milwaukee. Moreover, the UW-Milwaukee team will assist in offering a seamless sequence of opportunities for college student participation in research at every stage along the transfer pathway. Thus, this goal includes developing research projects incorporated into MATC STEM courses, designing and piloting short-term (~1 week) bridge programs with research experience during the transition from technical college to four-year university, and forming a cohort of diverse transfer students who participate in research experiences in STEM fields at UW-Milwaukee. Specifically, we will offer a team-taught research-based summer course at UW-Milwaukee that examines the terroir of Wisconsin. The transfer students in the first two weeks will collect vineyard soil samples at a Wisconsin winery and determine the grain size using a Malvern Mastersizer. In the second two weeks, students will measure the bulk soil chemistry with X-ray Fluorescence and grow bacteria from the soils. In the last two weeks, students will learn the mathematics and physics concepts behind some of the analytical instruments via lab-based activities.