Richard Tapia Center
Welcome to The Rice University Richard Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity, formally the Center for Excellence and Equity.
The Tapia Center’s MISSION is to increase the number of Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans and women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with an emphasis on leadership development.
The Tapia Center’s GOALS are:
- Be the premier model of a Tier I university retention program for supporting underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students from freshmen year through PhD and into faculty or high level industry position.
- Be a national research hub for data on Latinos, African Americans, and women in higher education.
- Channel the power of the many. The Tapia Center functions as a powerful connecting force among scientists and researchers committed to creating a STEM workforce and community that is truly representative of the diversity in the society in which we live.
For forty years, Dr. Richard Tapia has been a champion of equity and excellence for underrepresented students, doing great things for students so students can go on to do great things in the nation. Dr. Tapia and his colleagues have been so successful that in 2010 the American Mathematical Society awarded Rice University The Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Award for mentoring and successfully graduating large numbers Ph.D.s from underrepresented groups in the mathematical sciences.
Yet, there still remains an urgent need for STEM Education among underrepresented minorities and women.
- Less than 2 percent of STEM faculty at research universities are Hispanic or African American.
- Nationwide, fewer than 20 percent of undergraduates in STEM fields other than biology are women. In contrast, as a result of intensive Tapia Center and university-wide efforts, almost one third of Rice engineering undergraduates are women.
- Although the percentage of women from underrepresented groups who hold STEM doctorates has risen significantly since the 1970s, the figure is still only 2.4 percent. Being a double minority remains a double indemnity.
- Only 7 percent of STEM undergraduates at the top 100 universities are Hispanic or African American.
- The number of female computer science undergraduates has actually decreased from 38 percent in 1985 to less than 17 percent in 2010.
With an estimated national shortage of one million STEM professionals over the next decade, the Center’s efforts to increase the number of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM is essential to the welfare of the nation. But with your help, anything is possible.
Thank you for ensuring that the generation that comes after you is ready to lead, to innovate and to inspire. Please donate here today.Your tax deductible donation will mitigate a national crisis and will guarantee that the next generation of leaders is representative of the diverse world we live in today.