Washington, D.C., May 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is launching a new partnership with three large universities aimed at building a pipeline of diverse candidates who can contribute to the field of behavioral and social science research and application. The AIR Pipeline Partnership Program will provide opportunities for graduate-level students at Howard University in Washington, D.C., the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Georgia State University, in Atlanta.

The program seeks to enhance the diversity and cultural competence of the field by engaging graduate students who reflect the racial, cultural and socioeconomic diversity of the communities that it serves.

“Diversity and inclusion enrich our ability to understand, interact with, and serve people across cultures and backgrounds. This new, signature program is an extension of our ongoing efforts to build cultural competence in the field,” said David Myers, President and CEO of AIR. “We are excited to partner with three outstanding institutions to provide opportunities for all students to explore the many applications of a career in research while learning from some of the most preeminent leaders in the industry and academics from some of the top universities in the world.”

The program will launch at UTSA on Wednesday, May 6 with a virtual event. Additional launch activities will be held at the partnership schools in the next academic year. Student participants will include those who are considering research or implementation science as a profession or are studying in areas related to AIR’s work, including education, health and workforce development, both domestically and internationally. Students will be chosen by the universities based on their interests and backgrounds. The program has three main components:

  • Education and training: AIR Institute and External Fellows, leadership and internal experts will work with each institution to deliver seminars, workshops and lectures on research methodology and design, education policy, equity, workforce development, health and other relevant topics.
  • Mentoring and career advancement: Students will have the chance to be mentored by AIR Institute and External Fellows and internal experts, who are among the most accomplished and distinguished in the field. 
  • Networking and internships: AIR will promote its Summer Internship Program, which offers students the opportunity to work on active research projects and put their learning into action.

Among the experts from AIR who will participate in the program are CEO David Myers; Executive Vice President Dwayne Norris; Director of Diversity and Inclusion Karen Francis; AIR External Fellows Camille Charles, of the University of Pennsylvania; David Hayes-Bautista, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Larry Hedges of Northwestern University; Claude Steele of Stanford University; Michael Stoll of UCLA; and Marta Tienda of Princeton University. Also participating in the program are several AIR Institute Fellows, including George Bohrnstedt, Larry Condelli, Michael Garet, Steve Garfinkel, Jennifer O’Day, David Osher and Terry Salinger.

The project is funded by AIR in partnership with the universities, who are providing in-kind contributions including venues, faculty and other resources. The May 6 virtual event with UTSA students will feature Myers and Tienda speaking with interested students, along with two UTSA faculty—Rogelio Sáenz, professor in the UTSA Department of Demography, and Juliet Langman, associate dean for graduate studies.

“As a Hispanic-serving Institution, with a Carnegie Community-Engaged designation, we see the AIR Pipeline Partnership as a wonderful way to provide our diverse graduate student population opportunities to engage in high-quality research opportunities,” said Margo DelliCarpini, Vice Provost for Strategic Educational Partnerships and Dean of the College of Education and Human Development at UTSA.

“We are excited to partner with AIR for this initiative, which will provide our students with exposure to some of the best research available in behavioral and social science and, in turn, to support AIR's belief that intellectual diversity is necessary to solve the big problems we face in the world today,” said Dana Williams, Interim Gradate School Dean and Professor of African American Literature at Howard University.

“AIR's Pipeline Partnership Program offers Georgia State’s Graduate School a wonderful chance to contribute to the diversification of the research workforce in social and behavioral sciences,” said Lisa Armistead, Dean of the Georgia State University Graduate School. 

For more information about the partnership, contact Tracy Gray, AIR; Kamla Deonauth, Howard University; Elizabeth Castillo, UTSA; or Lisa Armistead, Georgia State University. Media inquiries can be sent to Dana Tofig, AIR.

About AIR

Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of education, health and the workforce. For more information, visit www.air.org.

Dana Tofig
American Institutes for Research
202-403-6347
dtofig@air.org