Samiksha Raut, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Biology, has been named a fellow in the third cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy, a program aimed at developing and training the next generation of underrepresented leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) higher education.
“I feel privileged to be at a campus like UAB that supports diversity, equity and inclusion endeavors,” Raut said. “This is critically important for driving change in the STEM fields to increase the representation of persons excluded because of their ethnicity and race who continue to be disproportionately underrepresented.”
With a two-year fellowship commitment, Raut and her cohort fellows will focus on developing new leadership skills with the goal of implementing and leading more inclusive on-campus academic cultures to further diversifying the STEM fields.
Year one of Raut’s fellowship will focus on professional development with the intent of enhancing team-building skills that benefit an organization, while year two includes an in-residence institutional action project. Raut’s action project will support UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences initiative of “Inclusive Excellence” and Raut’s co-founded ROSE network at UAB.
“Completing this fellowship will not only enable me to hone my core competencies but will enable me to play a role in the ‘Inclusive Excellence’ initiative implemented by Dean Thomas,” she said.
“Dr. Raut has already demonstrated incredible commitment and inclusive leadership in developing the externally funded ROSE Network and in her recruitment and mentoring of diverse student scientists,” said Kecia M. Thomas, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I look forward to watching the impact of Dr. Raut’s work across the college and university as we continue to grow the diversity of student scientists at UAB.”