College launches $100 million STEM-X program

The program will increase access and leadership opportunities for historically underrepresented groups in STEM.

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 12/9/22 11:05am

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by Oliver De Jonghe / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

College President Phil Hanlon announced on Dec. 6 that the College has created a new $100 million program called Dartmouth STEM-X to support historically underrepresented groups in  science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program is partially being funded by a $25 million gift from Penny Coulter and James Coulter ’82, the co-founder of global alternative asset management firm TPG.

“We are acting on two contrary truths — American innovation benefits greatly when diverse perspectives are applied to a problem, and yet the pipeline of advanced-degree recipients in STEM from underrepresented groups falls far short of representation levels in our society,” Hanlon said at a San Francisco alumni event where he announced the new initiative.

STEM-X will bring multiple existing student programs together under one larger, university-wide strategy with a new executive director for undergraduate STEM diversity, along with additional career and graduate school mentoring for students. 

According to Racepoint Global spokesperson Kerri Mannion, which supports the College’s advancement office, the six participating programs and offices include the E.E. Just Academic Enrichment Program, Women in Science Project, Dartmouth Emerging Engineers, Health Professions Program, First-Year Student Enrichment Program and Undergraduate Advising and Research. 

According to the College's announcement, the College has already raised $60 million for STEM-X, and an additional $40 million will be needed to endow the program. 

The $25 million gift will also create the Coulter Scholars program, a 16-student, four-year “cohort and academic enrichment experience” to develop student potential in STEM disciplines, according to the College’s announcement. Mannion wrote that the first cohort of students in the program will be admitted as part of the Class of 2027.

In addition to the Coulter Scholars, Mannion wrote that the STEM-X program will allow the College to expand its financial support for fifth-year Bachelor of Engineering students through endowed scholarships with a goal of meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need. 

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, women made up about 48% of the American workforce but only about 27% of STEM jobs were occupied by women. Additionally, a study conducted with 2020 census data found that about 7% of STEM jobs were held by Black people and about 8% of STEM jobs were held by Hispanic people, even though those groups make up 12% and 18% of the overall workforce, respectively.

Correction appended (Dec. 11, 4:35 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the fifth-year Bachelor Engineering financial aid expansion would come through the Coulters’ gift. The scholarships are part of the STEM-X program but not part of the gift. The article has been updated. 

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