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Community College Undergraduate Research Initiatives to Foster a Culture of Inclusion and Innovation

This webinar will highlight the role community colleges play in diversifying the talent pool for STEM researchers, describe nationwide efforts to foster innovative and inclusive research, and discuss opportunities for engagement.

Webinar participants will:

  • Highlight the role of community colleges in providing access and opening the doors for future STEM researchers, academics, and practitioners 
  • Learn about how community colleges in can promote research opportunities for URM students
  • Identify techniques to incorporate research prograams into a community college curriculum
  • Promote critical partnerships that are necessary for research programs


Dr. Maria Alvarez
, Professor and Coordinator of Biology and Chemistry, Rise to the Challenge Bridge Program Director, El Paso Community College (EPCC) Transmountain Campus

Dr. Maria Alvarez is the 2018 National William H. Meardy Faculty Member Award winner by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Dr. Alvarez has secured more than $13.2 million dollars of grant funding for student programs. One of many programs Alvarez has initiated and developed at EPCC is the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program which gives students opportunities to conduct research and other opportunities. Because of her efforts, hundreds of minority and underrepresented students have had the opportunity to engage in high-level scientific projects. In addition, her students have gained tools needed to succeed in college and take the opportunity to continue their education by earning transfer baccalaureate, master and doctoral degrees and ultimately pursue STEM careers. Through the programs she has developed and through more than 20 grant-funded projects, she has created opportunities for her students to be involved in hands-or research in state-of-the-art facilities. Under her guidance her students have completed scientific research with real-world implications and impact.


Dr. Russell Frohardt,
Dean for Academic Success, Northwest Vista College

Dr. Russell Frohardt is the Dean for Academic Success at Northwest Vista College. Prior to that, Dr. Frohardt served as Associate Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at St.Edward's University in Austin, Texas, where he has held various faculty and administrative positions since joining the community in 2003. Prior to his term as interim Dean of BSS, he was an American Council on Education Fellow, hosted by Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he learned about administrative, curricular, and co-curricular practices across the country. Dr. Frohardt received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, his M.A. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Vermont, and he completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at Dartmouth College before coming to Texas.

His research interests span the neurobiology of learning and memory, spatial navigation, sexual behavior, and models of relapse and addiction. In his free time, Russ enjoys playing basketball and roller derby, live music, and spending time with friends and his wife, Dr. Fay Guarraci, and son, Cole.




Use the link to the live event below to sign up. Please also complete the pre-event survey. You must complete the pre-event survey to access the live webinar or recording.

Questions? Contact for ABRCMS Online:
Christopher Skipwith, Ph.D.
Education Specialist