Collaborative partnerships to improve students’ success in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields should operate under the expectation that every student will graduate. In this lecture, David Laude discussed efforts to create such an environment at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is senior vice provost and a professor of chemistry. UT has adopted tools such as predictive analytics, incentive-based scholarship programs, pedagogical and curricular reforms, and success programs geared toward student mindsets. These methods have resulted in historic highs in STEM student persistence and graduation rates.
Lunch was provided.
This event, also a part of the Shell Distinguished Lecture Series, was co-hosted by the Baker Institute Science and Technology Policy Program, the George R. Brown School of Engineering and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences at Rice University. Support for the Civic Scientist Program is generously provided by Shell Oil Company and Benjamin and Winifer Cheng.
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David Laude, Ph.D., is the senior vice provost and a professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin. Laude has been a faculty member since 1987 in UT’s College of Natural Sciences, where he ran a large research program in mass spectrometry for 10 years. From 1996 to 2012, he held various administrative positions in the college, including interim dean. Laude has an established reputation for teaching excellence and curriculum innovation at UT and has received a number of awards. Laude continues to teach a general chemistry course in a hybrid format that will serve 2,000 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students this fall. He also has been a leader in undergraduate program reform at UT. In 1996, he chaired the original committee that proposed the teacher preparation program known today as UTeach. In 1999, he created the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan as a way to provide a small-college learning environment for STEM students with adversity indicators. Laude also was instrumental in creating the Freshman Research Initiative that today enrolls 900 incoming freshman in research programs with science faculty. In 2012, he joined the provost’s office to champion four-year graduation rates. He coordinates student assignments to freshman success programs, which serve 1,500 incoming freshmen from under-resourced backgrounds. He also has redefined the role of the financial services office to support new programs, like the University Leadership Network, that further integrate 2,000 at-risk students into the UT campus community.