ASPIRE - The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse Stem Faculty


Association of Public Land-grant Universities’ Aspire Institutional Change (iChange) Initiative strengthens post-secondary institutions where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) faculty from underrepresented groups are widely recruited, hired, and retained and all STEM faculty employ inclusive teaching, advising, and research mentoring. Aspire announced Iowa State University as a participant in Cohort 2 of iChange. The National Science Foundation funds this effort.

The goal of the iChange Network is to catalyze institutional change by providing a comprehensive, systematic approach to organizational transformation using a structured self-assessment process to inform the development and implementation of an action plan. In January 2020, Iowa State University began a self-assessment of our current practices and resources. The work continues to develop and implement an action plan for initial change and map ways to scale such efforts across STEM programs, as well as non-STEM units and the broader campus community.


Dawn Bratsch-Prince, Associate Provost for Faculty, served as the institution’s lead from October 2019 through April 2021.

Tera Jordan, Assistant Provost for Faculty Development, assumed the leadership role in April 2021 and currently leads the ISU Aspire Team.

Aspire Team Members:

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Theressa Cooper
Susan Lamont
Dan Robison

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Ann Oberhauser
Javier Vela

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Clark Coffman

Graduate College
William Graves
Thelma Harding

College of Engineering
Connie Hargrave
Jaime Juarez
Ashfaq Khokhar

Institutional Research
Susan Ray

General Counsel
Heather Smith

Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
nicci port

Vice President for Extension and Outreach
Regenea Hurte
Barbara Woods

Vice President for Research
James Reecy

Key achievements:

Midwest Experiences in Mentoring Excellence

An Aspire Alliance Program

Midwest Experiences in Mentoring Excellence (MEME) is comprised of the following six partner institutions:

  • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Ball State University
  • Cleveland State University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Michigan State University

MEME is looking for potential participants in their Mentoring Circle (MC). This collaborative effort is intended to provide minoritized women faculty in STEM with opportunities to gain critical insights on ways to advance professionally and grow personally in the academy. Space is limited to 30 participants, who are expected to attend all meetings.

The participants will begin exploring topics of effective mentoring--how to get it and how to give it. The Circle will build on select evidence-based mentoring competencies from the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) mentor training. It is strongly recommended that MC participants have completed the full CIMER training, but it is not a requirement to join the MC.

Participants will be asked to complete a mentee self-assessment, which will inform the development of PEER Mentoring Circles (PMC), described in the circles guidelines. Those who wish to create a PMC with a particular focus will need to complete and submit the MEME PEER Mentoring Circle Request Form.

Since participants of the MC and PMC sessions will be from MEME partner institutions across several Midwest states, all engagement will occur online. Zoom will be the primary platform for meetings, which will also foster and support interactive elements.

For questions and more information, contact Tera Jordan, Assistant Provost for Faculty Development.