Elizabeth City State University Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Farrah Jackson-Ward, Ph.D., was recently invited to serve within the North Carolina K-12 STEM Access Working Group. The unit is comprised of North Carolina-based educators, business leaders, policymakers, advocates, nonprofit leaders, and philanthropists who will study current educational trends, and then make policy and practice recommendations for student instruction throughout the state.  

Ward was selected to participate in the group as a result of her work to expand access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. An undergraduate of North Carolina A&T, she completed her master’s and Ph.D. in Mathematics at North Carolina State University.

In this statewide initiative, The Working Group partnered with The Hunt Institute, a nonprofit entity functioning to inform policymakers about key issues in education. Their work will incorporate three meetings throughout the year. In that time, the group will discuss policy themes in early development and access to STEM, STEM educator shortages, and STEM resource disparities. Once the study completes, policy recommendations and a final report will be presented to the General Assembly.

Ward described this distinction as an honor.

“As a mathematician, I understand how critical it is for students to have access to opportunities that immerse them in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” she said. “The core skills that are developed by doing science are essential to solving tomorrow’s complex problems. Serving on this board gives me the opportunity to help shape the state’s next generation of thinkers and problem solvers.”