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Initiative Leadership

The Association of American Universities (AAU) is engaged in an initiative to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at its member institutions. The overall objective is to influence the culture of STEM departments at AAU universities so that faculty members are encouraged to use teaching practices proven to be effective in engaging students in STEM education and in helping students learn.

All AAU institutions have the opportunity to engage in the Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative.  If you are interested in getting involved with the initiative, please email [email protected] for further details.

STEM Project Team

Advisory Committee

The 16-member Advisory Committee advises the AAU staff on the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative.

Cynthia J. Atman

Director, Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education and Professor, Human Centered Design and Engineering, University of Washington

Jim Borgford-Parnell

Assistant Director, Center for Engineering Teaching and Learning, University of Washington

David M. Bressoud

DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics, Macalester College

Peter J. Bruns

Professor of Genetics Emeritus, Cornell University and Vice President for Grants and Special Programs (retired), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Linda Columbus

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Cottrell Scholar

Edward J. Coyle

Arbutus Chair and Director of the Arbutus Center for the Integration of Research Education, Georgia Institute of Technology

James S. Fairweather

AAU STEM Initiative Co-Investigator, and Professor Emeritus, Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education, Michigan State University 

Noah Finkelstein

Associate Professor of Physics Education Research, Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder

S. James Gates, Jr.

John S. Toll Professor of Physics and Director, Center for String and Particle Theory, University of Maryland, College Park

Sylvia Hurtado

Professor and Director of the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), Graduate School of Education and Information Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

Kathy Mann Koepke

Director of Mathematics and Science Cognition and Learning, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

G. Peter Lepage

Professor of Physics, Cornell University

Haynes R. Miller

Professor of Mathematics and Associate Department Head, Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Bassam Z. Shakhashiri

Professor of Chemistry, William T. Evjue Distinguished Chair for the Wisconsin Idea, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and 2012 President, American Chemical Society

Linda L. Slakey

Senior Advisor, AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative, and former Director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation (NSF)

Candace Thille

Director of Open Learning Initiative (OLI); Assistant Professor of Education; and Senior Research Fellow, Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning, Stanford University



The AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative is generously funded by: 

nsf1Revised.fw.png The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense..." In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing. 
NG-Foundation (002).jpg

Northrop Grumman Foundation’s top priority is providing unique education experiences related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for students and teachers. The Foundation supports diverse and sustainable national-level programs that enhance the education experience for students and provide teachers with the training and tools they need to be successful in the classroom.




The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in a variety of selected areas. In post-secondary education, the Trust is primarily interested in increasing the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates who can participate in high growth sectors of the economy. The Trust also focuses on policy levers that improve post-secondary completion, particularly for underrepresented populations.


Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) is a foundation providing catalytic and opportunistic funding for innovative scientific research and the development of academic scientists. 

BWF_logo_Revised.fw.png The Burroughs Wellcome Fund is an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.
200px-Elsevier.svg.png Elsevier B.V. is an academic publishing company that publishes medical and scientific literature.