Broadening Equity In STEM Center

The University of Pittsburgh's BE STEM Center was founded in 2019 to build a national alliance of Precollege STEM programs, a local network to support Pitt’s minoritized STEM students, and increase broadening equity and participation initiatives at the University.

The STEM PUSH Network

The University of Pittsburgh research team and the STEM Learning Ecosystem Community of Practice have created a network of precollege programs with accreditation standards to boost college enrollment for underrepresented students in STEM.

Local STEM Support Icon Art

University STEM Support

The BE STEM Center will leverage the expertise of its’ leadership team to connect and support programs on campus that are designed to enable underrepresented student success in STEM degree programs at the University of Pittsburgh.

Broader Impact Opportunities

The center will support Pitt faculty and staff in the design and implementation of grant-funded broadening participation initiatives, and by further connecting Pitt with local and regional organizations working to improve issues around equity and access in education.

BE STEM is hosting a virtual workshop series, “Pushing Towards Equity in Outreach: Centering Students & Communities” for Pitt’s outreach program community!

A Local Network With Global Impact

The Broadening Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Center (BE STEM Center) is a newly created unit in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. The BE STEM Center was created to support the work of Pitt’s NSF INCLUDES team (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science). The INCLUDES team was awarded $10 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as an elite Alliance Award to conduct this work. BE STEM is the lead organization in this Alliance.

Faculty and staff from five schools, the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Swanson School of Engineering, School of Computing and Information, School of Education, and School of Medicine, along with several academic and administrative units, including the Center for Urban Education and the Learning Research and Development Center, comprise BE STEM’s multidisciplinary collaborative team at the University of Pittsburgh.

The team leverages academic and professional expertise centered on broadening equity work. BE STEM’s mission is to increase diversity in Pitt’s STEM programs by serving as a hub interconnecting like-minded but siloed efforts in STEM broadening participation initiatives and providing programs with relevant organizational support.

BE STEM will also aid in developing new initiatives. As a University-wide resource, BE STEM can strengthen a culture for broader impacts at Pitt and leverage new partnerships and networks to successfully pursue external funding.


“For decades, STEM fields have been some of the most homogenous. Women, minorities, and people with disabilities are particularly underrepresented, a problem that originates in their lack of access to, and enrollment in, STEM programs at universities.

We created BE STEM to reverse that trend by building a better pathway into these fields for URM students. We are thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking collaborative that so wonderfully reflects the University’s goal to serve an engine of opportunity for our students, our community, and the region.”
Kathleen Blee
Kathleen Blee
Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean
Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and College of General Studies
“My experience working with the BE STEM Center leadership has been beyond valuable: interacting with a truly collaborative group of experienced experts excited to grow their well-informed ideas by networking with thought leaders while centering the work on the communities whom they serve has been a professional highlight.

BE STEM is an asset to the University of Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities, and an exemplar for others working towards more equitable learning environments.”
Ryan Champagne
Ryan Champagne
Assistant Director for Research Development | Office of Sponsored Programs | University of Pittsburgh
“Inclusion and equity efforts are imperative to expand STEM related opportunities to all students.

Over the years, Drs. Allen and Legg have mentored and empowered numerous students in their respective schools, and their investments have contributed to the fabric of the University of Pittsburgh.

The establishment of the BE STEM Center expands their work and supports Pitt’s goals to advance educational excellence, promote diversity and inclusion, and build foundational strength. Their collaborative approach breaks down silos so that all stakeholders can work together to maximize STEM opportunities for all students.”
Kathy Humphrey
Kathy Humphrey, PhD
Senior Vice Chancellor and Secretary of the Board of Trustees | University of Pittsburgh
“The BE STEM Center is an innovative and creative initiative to support students in their STEM programs starting at the precollege level and it will play a key role in helping the University reach our diversity and equity goals.

The goals of the center align with the efforts at the University of Pittsburgh to connect with Pittsburgh Public Schools, strengthen our local communities, and promote diversity and inclusion.”
Juan J. Manfredi
Juan J. Manfredi, PhD
Professor of Mathematics | Former Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies 2010-2017 | University of Pittsburgh
“At Pitt's School of Computing and Information we are committed to driving change that will increase diversity in computing and information-related fields through recruitment, education, development and research.

Through BE STEM, we can learn from and collaborate with our partners on campus and beyond. As a hub for data collection, benchmarking and best practices, BE STEM will organize and enhance our efforts to address this great challenge.”
Don Shields
Don Shields
Associate Dean External Relations | School of Computing and Information | University of Pittsburgh
“The BE STEM Center's work will be a tremendous opportunity to create an even stronger pathway and network for students participating in STEM diversity and inclusion programs across the university and beyond. I am extremely excited to hear that these programs will now have accreditation which will directly benefit students by validating the rigor and preparedness of these programs and participating students to college admission officers.

15 years ago, I started planning the first TLI summer academy with the goal of just exposing minority students to career opportunities in computing. I am beyond excited to learn of the continued commitment of the University to broadening equity and participation in STEM by creating a model that creates a stronger pathway for underrepresented students' access to STEM degree programs. These types of programs will cease to exist unless we continue to make strides to be more inclusive and innovative in fields that have historically lacked diversity. ”
Tonya Edmonds
University of Pittsburgh

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