Diversity and Inclusion for Research Programs
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Theresa Chatman directs the diversity and inclusion efforts for large, multi-institutional grants for Rice’s Office of Research, including two National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Centers (ERCs), the Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Center and the Precise Advanced Technologies and Health Systems for Underserved Populations (PATHS-UP). She has managed numerous activities at Rice University focused on the recruitment, mentoring, and retention of underrepresented minority (URM) students in all fields of academic pursuits, including social sciences, humanities, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She has also been instrumental in many national partnerships and events designed to support URM students, including her service as Chair of NEWT's Inclusion Oversight and PATHS-UP’s Diversity and Inclusion Boards. Her work has enabled and inspired hundreds of students to focus on their academic programs and achieve their personal and professional goals.
Through outreach programs that Theresa has helped orchestrate for several organizations and activities, such as the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM), the Rice-Houston Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), the Diversity Graduate Program in Science and Engineering, the Rice University Graduate Orientation Program, and others, Rice University has been recognized as having an outstanding percentage of URM Ph.D. graduates. After graduating from Rice, these students have gone on to make their own mark in their respective fields at universities, national laboratories, and in industry.
Theresa has served on several national committees to further the accomplishments of minorities, including the GEM Board of Directors, the Celebration of Diversity in Computing conferences, and the Houston Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. She has also helped lead efforts that secured national grants for overarching programs to support students and provide resources for institutions that are dedicated to student success.
For many successful URM students, Theresa was one of their strongest supporters and a safety net for their early academic experience. Her passion and compassion for the student experience is both well known and appreciated by her colleagues and the students whose lives she has touched.