Penn State’s Nate Brown to Speak on Diversity in STEM – April 20

Nathaniel Brown of Penn State University will speak on the importance of diversity in STEM—and how the Millennium Scholars Program at Penn State is helping to achieve it—on Friday, April 20 from 3:15–4:30 p.m. in the John T. Rettaliata Engineering Center, Room 106.

Brown is a professor, associate head for equity and diversity, and co-associate head for graduate students in the Department of Mathematics at Penn State and has received many awards and honors for his work on diversity. His talk is entitled, “Tomorrow’s STEM Leaders Are Diverse.” About 30 years ago, he says, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, began an audacious experiment to train undergraduates, primarily from underrepresented groups, who wish to pursue a Ph.D. in a STEM field. The program was called Meyerhoff Scholars. Their methods were radical and enormously successful. For example, Meyerhoff Scholars are five times more likely to complete a STEM Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. than students who are accepted to the program but decline the offer and do their undergraduate work elsewhere.

Penn State recently replicated the UMBC model with their Millennium Scholar Program. Though the first cohort of Millennium Scholars received baccalaureate degrees in 2017, similar successes appear to be on the horizon. Brown will discuss some history and highlights, from the remarkable track record to some program cornerstones that were once considered radical, but are now best practices.

The Penn State Millennium Scholars Program is designed for high-achieving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students who will become leaders in their chosen fields and are committed to increasing the diversity of professionals in STEM-related disciplines.

The lecture is sponsored by Illinois Tech’s Department of Applied Mathematics. For more information, please contact Chun Liu, chair and professor of applied mathematics, at