Stony Brook University is the lead institution for the National Science Foundation funded SUNY-wide initiative called AGEP (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate). The national AGEP program was created by Congress with the primary aim of increasing the number of underrepresented minority students (African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander) receiving doctoral degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and entering the professoriate. Our partners in the SUNY AGEP alliance are SUNY Albany, Binghamton, and Buffalo as well as the undergraduate NSF initiatives; SUNY LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) and Bridges to the Doctorate and Brookhaven Science Associates, the organization that runs Brookhaven National Laboratory. The initial SUNY AGEP grant was for 2.5 million dollars covering 1999-2005. In 2005 the project was renewed at an impressive 5.6 million dollars to cover Phase II which will bring the project to 2010.
AGEP is a comprehensive program that provides a wide range of services to underrepresented minority doctoral students in the STEM fields as well as to the STEM departments and graduate programs. Our goals are to:
- Raise awareness within the campus community about the need to address the historical under-representation of minorities in STEM disciplines;
- Promote success of underrepresented minorities in doctoral education and academic careers;
- Provide a platform on which to discuss issues related to minority graduate education and obtain resources to implement emerging ideas;
- Create an effective network of faculty, students, and administrators who embrace academic excellence and diversity, both on and off-campus;
- Facilitate transition from the baccalaureate and masters into the Ph.D. and also the Ph.D. to postdoc and the professoriate;
- Serve as a catalytic agent of change in practices related to the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities by examining issues and building collaborations.