The success of the initiatives undertaken by the STEPS Center stems from the innovation of the diverse perspectives of its collective members. STEPS uses the impact of its stakeholders as well as its diverse team to address fundamental science and technological advances related to phosphorus sustainability. The essence of the strength of STEPS is the diversity in thought, culture, experience and approach toward problem solving required to address a societal issue that no single discipline or group can solve on its own.
STEPS builds long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with organizations and institutions that allow us to recruit talented participants while strengthening new research collaborations. Our goal is to have a diverse and inclusive Center that mirrors the population of the United States. Consequently, STEPS activities and intentionality will foster progress toward a goal of >50% participation by members of underrepresented minority groups, including >50% pre-baccalaureate participation to further broaden and develop the STEM pipeline. To ensure this goal is accomplished, STEPS uses proven theoretical approaches to ensure that all its participants, especially those from groups underrepresented in science and technology, including women, minorities and persons with disabilities, have experiences in STEPS that lead to their retention and career progression. Our strategies include:
- Career development is strengthened through programs guided by social cognitive career theory
- Mentoring is based on the tripartite integration model of social influence (TIMSI) framework that enables participants to learn how to become socialized and integrated into their scientific community.
We welcome all participants to learn more about the uniqueness of the STEPS convergence research project and how they can play an important role in contributing to fundamental research within all Themes.