Edie Fraser, Chair and Founder of STEMconnector® and Million Women Mentor, received the Champion of Diversity Award from Minority Access, Inc. following her keynote address on October 1 at the 18th National Role Models Conference in Washington, DC at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. Ms. Fraser, the second recipient of the award, was honored for her decades-long successful track record in supporting diversity domestically and globally, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and professional careers. The Champion of Diversity Award was presented by Andrea D. Mickle, President of Minority Access, during a luncheon recognizing thirty-seven colleges and universities for their commitment to diversity, one of the highlighted events of the three-day conference.
Minority Access, a 501 (c )(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 1995 under the leadership of Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Sr., assists colleges and universities, government agencies and corporations in diversifying their campuses and worksites through the administration of national and local programs. Minority Access specializes in the recruitment, retention and enhancement of underrepresented population groups. The organization relocated from the District of Columbia in 1998 to occupy its fully-owned headquarters in downtown Hyattsville, Maryland.
The National Role Models Project was implemented with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the cooperation of 170 colleges and universities to identify minority alumni, faculty and students who are excelling in fields underrepresented by them. These individuals and their supporters are publicized and honored as role models at the National Role Models Conference. With identifying and honoring exemplary individuals as role models, Minority Access hopes to inspire emulation that will lead to expanding the pool of minority scholars and professionals in STEM and other fields which they are underrepresented
To further the participation of underrepresented populations in research and higher education, Minority Access soon broaden the conference to include student research competitions in STEM disciplines, college and career recruitment showcase for local college-bound students and recognition of colleges and universities committed to diversity. Institutions receiving recognition must submit information on programs and initiatives to support their stated commitment to diversity. A compilation of this information is published by Minority Access and distributed at the National Role Models Conference.