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Mission Overview

For over twenty years, 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, 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.

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.

STEM Smart provides scholarships, internships, and mentoring for under-represented students in the sciences, technology, engineering and math at all levels - high school through graduate school.

STEM Smart is one of a number of ways Stony Brook University reaches out to support education of a diverse population. STEM Smart is more than a local initiative however: Stony Brook staff and faculty who work on behalf of STEM Smart collaborate with other New York State institutions and the National Science Foundation. The array of programs and activities collectively referred to as STEM Smart all support the following four-part mission:

  • To increase the number of under-represented students, at every level (pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate), who are prepared for and succeed in courses, science competitions, and degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  • To prepare students to succeed in STEM-related jobs, including high-technology industries, education (teachers and professors), and research in private industry or governmental labs.
  • To engage in scholarship in STEM education - especially as it relates to the successful participation of underrepresented groups in STEM.
  • To provide national leadership in collecting and disseminating information regarding effective practices in scholarship and program implementation in diversity education in the STEM-related disciplines.