Big win for the University of Minnesota Morris

My colleagues here have earned a major award from HHMI.

The University of Minnesota Morris is one of 104 colleges and universities from throughout the U.S. that will receive a six-year grant through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) Inclusive Excellence (IE3) initiative.

This grant challenges US colleges and universities to substantially and sustainably build capacity for student belonging, especially for those who have been historically excluded from the sciences. The IE3 grants total more than $60 million over six years and are a part of HHMI’s national portfolio of experiments aimed at improving the introductory undergraduate science experience.

Associate Professor of Biology Heather Waye is leading the IE3 efforts at Morris, along with colleagues Rachel Johnson, Shaina Philpot, Barry McQuarrie, and Kerri Barnstuble.

“Our goal is to find the barriers that STEM students are facing and figure out how to tackle them,” Waye said. “This is an opportunity for us to change the system, not the student, so that the benefit of the grant will last beyond the scope of the grant.”

One of the first goals is to establish a Quantitative Learning Center (QLC) on campus, a dedicated space where students can build their quantitative skills with technologies used in their STEM classes. Waye stressed that student input is a key part of planning for this. In addition to providing practical help, the QLC would help students feel supported, valued and confident in their STEM abilities.

This is excellent news! All of my classes are heavy in the quantitative skills department, so having a campus initiative to get incoming students up to speed on math and stats will make my life easier, and I’m all about the easy life.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    especially for those who have been historically excluded from the sciences.

    So they’ve heard about your teaching, have they?

  2. moarscienceplz says

    Congratulations UMM!
    HHMI does seem to have become one of the good uns in the STEM world. Howard Hughes must be spinning in his grave.