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Spelman College Faculty Stories

Faculty Stories

Chemistry Professor Utilizes Fellowship To Address STEM Diversity Deficiencies

July 2018

Leyte WinfieldLeyte Winfield, Ph.D., division chair for natural science and mathematics and associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, spent four weeks this summer at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center, in Bellagio, Italy, as part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Academic Writing Fellowship program.

Her project, “Training the Invisible Scientist,” focuses on the rates at which women and individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups participate in STEM careers. Dr. Winfield is one of 100 participants selected for the fellowship. 

The Academic Writing residency is for university and think tank-based academics, researchers, professors, and scientists working in any discipline. Successful applicants demonstrate decades of significant professional contributions to their field or show evidence of being on a strong upward trajectory for those earlier in their careers.

“Those selected must demonstrate a clear commitment to addressing the greatest barriers to advancing the well-being of mankind, with gender inclusivity being a key component of these efforts,” Dr. Winfield said.

The residency program has a track record for supporting the generation of important new knowledge addressing some of the most complex issues facing our world, and innovative new works of art that inspire reflection and understanding of global and social issues.

“My work addresses strategies to engage women of color in STEM fields and also provides technical training that will be useful in STEM-based industries.” Dr. Winfield said her work ensures that the talents of her students are properly valued so that there is space for their unique efforts.

“Institutions must be able to influence students to pursue STEM degrees and support their success in these disciplines,” she said.