Over 40 years of service

History of the Tapia Center

For the past four decades, Professor Richard Tapia, a Rice University Professor, the Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering, and a 2011 recipient of the National Medal of Science, has led Rice’s efforts to prepare underrepresented groups for success in STEM fields. Under his leadership, Rice has significantly increased the number of minority students and women receiving doctorates in STEM subjects, and Tapia has spoken to almost a quarter-million students and professionals about underrepresentation and diversity around the United States. In addition, the center has provided training and guidance to over 6,000 college students and 2,500 K-12 teachers since its inception. All students should have opportunities to achieve their dreams, and the Tapia Center for Equity and Excellence in Education was established to do so.