Discussion | AIChE


Students with disabilities are a significantly underrepresented demographic in the STEM disciplines. To help alleviate this inequality, we, at the University of Delaware, have developed the unique summer outreach program “Research Experience for Undergraduates Science and Engineering Leadership Initiative.” This innovative, NSF-funded program encourages undergraduates with physical, psychological, or learning disabilities to take an active role in the scientific endeavors at a research-intensive University. This integrative measure is designed to empower the participants to pursue research-related careers and professions related to STEM disciplines. In our presentation, we will not only discuss the details of our program but aim to give experience-based, practical advice on how to best accommodate students with disabilities in research laboratories and ways to implement similar programs in other institutions. We will discuss the advocacy work of the American Chemical Society Committee on Chemists with Disabilities.

About the speaker: Dr. Sharon Rozovsky is a professor of biochemistry at the University of Delaware. She is one of the faculty directors of the Science & Engineering Leadership Initiative, a research experiences program designed for the advancement of students with disabilities who are interested in careers in chemistry, biochemistry, or aligned fields. She served on the Committee on Chemists with Disabilities of the American Chemical Society in 2018–2020.