UTEP Researchers to Engage Hispanic Female Students in STEM Fields

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently awarded a three-year, $700,000 grant to a research team from The University of Texas at El Paso that will benefit Hispanic female students.

The project started in October 2019 and will continue through September 2022.

Diane Golding, Ed.D., is the principal investigator of “Yes, She Can: Closing the STEM Hispanic Gender Gap,” which she said is a project based on personal experience. She said she struggled with math in middle school due mainly to a lack of confidence.

Golding, an assistant professor of instruction in teacher education, said many female college students that she has spoken with report they shied away from STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies for the same reason.

Golding’s co-PIs are Ivonne Santiago, Ph.D., clinical professor of civil engineering; Alyse Hachey, Ph.D., associate professor of teacher education; and Mayra Ortiz Galarza, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

This team decided to develop a way to introduce female students to STEM studies, and engage them through a strong, long-lasting and evidence-based program supported by like-minded peers and excellent mentors.

The researchers will introduce this student-led learning community to some of UTEP’s most innovative programs as well as community activities that involve many of the region’s women in STEM. Participants will build their confidence through projects and activities that also will involve female students from El Paso Community College and area school districts.

“I am so grateful to the DOE for this opportunity to support our talented students,” Golding said.