Third Place: North Carolina A&T University, NC


North Carolina A&T State University, the largest public HBCU, convened a multidisciplinary research team (representing sociology, psychology, nursing, and computer engineering) tasked with promoting the retention of future STEM professionals from racially minoritized communities. The group worked to identify and understand barriers to remote learning and to develop effective interventions to mitigate the disruptions caused by COVID-19. The objectives of our project were to (1) determine the psychosocial effects of COVID-19 on student success; (2) identify promoters and best practices to decrease psychosocial disparities during COVID-19; (3) develop a mobile application for engaging at risk students and connecting them to resources essential for remote learning during COVID-19; and (4) evaluate the effect of a mobile application in decreasing psychosocial disparities uncovered and promoting a conducive remote learning environment. Our project is well-positioned to highlight the extent to which psychosocial risk factors, including poor access to technology resources related to the current extenuating circumstances, are having an impact on student learning outcomes, which allows future scholars and practitioners to take steps in mitigating barriers to our efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM.

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