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A Message from Professor David L. Ferguson, Founder and Emeritus Director of STEM Smart Programs

Dr. Ferguson

For over twenty years, with the leadership of Dr. David L. Ferguson,  the Department of Technology and Society in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been a leader in New York State and our nation in enhancing the participation of underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). At the pre-college, undergraduate and graduate levels, we have helped students develop their potential and achieve their academic goals. Many of these students have either become accomplished professionals in business, industry and medicine, or emerged as outstanding faculty members at colleges and universities across our country. Indeed, the Department of Technology and Society, in collaboration with its many partners in business and industry, government, and colleges and universities, has helped Stony Brook University lead the way in the national priority of strengthening human resource development in STEM.

This is an exciting time for science and engineering. Around the world, there is a growing awareness of the critical importance of scientific and technological advancements in enhancing economic growth and quality of life. At the same time, there is a rapidly expanding perspective that critical issues of our time, including energy and environmental issues and global health and prosperity, demand interdisciplinary thinking and wise leadership in charting socio-technological policies. The sheer intellectual excitement of doing STEM is increasingly intertwined with unprecedented urgency to use scientific and technological advancements for human good and the betterment of life in all its forms.

As an umbrella organization of a wide array of STEM education programs, STEM Smart is designed to enhance the participation of groups that are underrepresented in STEM education and careers. Supporters of these successful programs include Stony Brook University, the New York State Education Department, the National Science Foundation, business and industry, and private foundations. It is this highly collaborative environment that allows us to meet the diverse needs of students from groups that have not been fully engaged in the scientific enterprise.

Although much work is ahead of us, we have come a long way in developing a diverse community of science scholars. We appreciate the many contributions that so many have made over the years. With such commitment in mind, I am joined by STEM Smart staff members, and our many faculty, staff, students and external collaborators in bringing this view of our activities to you.

Unfortunately, Dr. David Ferguson passed away this year.  He was a tireless advocate for diversity and STEM education -- an effective advocate for creating opportunities for underrepresented populations. His work touched thousands of students at Stony Brook and across the nation. He made a difference and will be greatly missed.

Expanding Diversity:  ASEE Exemplar Status and 25% Female Undergrads

As a direct result of the legacy of David Ferguson’s work and the efforts of our faculty, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at SBU was recently recognized by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) as one of only 24 institutions to receive Bronze Exemplar status in Diversity and Inclusion, based on our diversity, STEM and outreach programs. 

David L. Ferguson

Distinguished Service Professor, Technology and Society, and Applied Mathematics Emeritus Director, STEM Smart