Team Photo

What is the Challenge? Minority scholars focusing on hazards and disasters are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, yet minority populations often experience the most severe consequences from extreme events. Therefore, the Minority Scholars from Underrepresented Groups in Engineering and the Social Sciences (SURGE) Capacity in Disasters focuses on two challenges related to the underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in hazards and disaster research and the disproportionate impacts of disasters on underserved racial and ethnic minority communities.

Project Goals: The four overarching goals for this pilot project are:

  1. Increasing the number of minority graduate researchers in STEM fields with a disaster focus
  2. Providing academic and professional mentorship for next-generation minority STEM scholars in hazards mitigation and disaster research
  3. Evaluating the effectiveness of the mentoring program
  4. Developing professional and research opportunities that involve outreach and problem solving for vulnerable communities in the United States

Outcomes: The intended outcome of this two-year project is to increase the recruitment, retention, matriculation, and career placement of racial and ethnic minorities in STEM Ph.D. programs that contribute to hazards and disaster research.


Project Newsletter:

Principal Investigator: DeeDee Bennett, University at Albany, SUNY

Co-Principal Investigators: Hans Louis-Charles, Virginia Commonwealth University; Terri Norton, Bucknell University; Lori Peek, University of Colorado Boulder

Evaluators: Nnenia Campbell, University of Colorado Boulder; Jenniffer Santos-Hernandez, University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras

Collaborator: Norma Doneghy Anderson, Founder and President, William Averette Anderson Fund

Student Assistant: Ashlynn Efferding, University of Nebraska Lincoln; Ming Xie, University of Nebraska Omaha