MATC Opened STEM Educational Center to Strengthen Professional Outcomes

A Central Space for STEM

Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) has a new hub for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) on campus. The institution recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the STEM Educational Center which was designed for students and instructors to work together to keep people aligned with the rapidly moving industry.

According to MATC Dean of STEM Academic & Career Pathway Dr. Kamela Goodwyn, STEM is underrepresented with Black, Brown, and P.O.C. She said African Americans only represent 6% of the industry, 7% Hispanic, and 29% women.

“The mission and vision of the center is to persist and retain and graduate our current STEM students but also to diversify the STEM pipeline through our current STEM student base and build a pipeline of STEM students from our K-12 population in urban Milwaukee.”

– Dr. Kamela Goodwyn
MATC STEM Educational Center.
MATC STEM Educational Center. (Picture by Timothy Evans/MATC)

Remarks were given by MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin and STEM Forward, a nonprofit organization promoting STEM education and careers. Demonstrations by faculty and students took place in a mobile RV including focuses on anatomy and physiology, chemistry, electronics engineering technology, and information technology.

What to Expect at the STEM Educational Center

The center, which is around 10,000 square feet, is part laboratory and part lounge. It has alcoves and study areas along with robotic and technological equipment. One of the goals of this specific design is to spark informal learning for both students and faculty outside of the classroom. 

“It’s providing study space. It provides peer learning. Also, that space will provide faculty-student interactions. Many of the STEM faculty will locate their office hours in that space weekly and that will build the faculty-student relationship,” said Dr. Goodwyn.

The Dean of STEM Academic & Career Pathway

For a year and a half, Dr. Goodwyn was involved with every step of planning and designing the STEM Center, working with architects and picking out furniture, all the way up to get the word out to the public about the grand opening.

“Everything we worked for and planned for that day came to fruition with our external partners, with our department chair, our STEM faculty, and multiple departments within the college that supported us,” said Dr. Goodwyn.

Dr. Goodwyn became interested in STEM in 2017 while earning her doctorate. She wanted to focus on an industry that was underrepresented and STEM was the first topic to come to her mind. She was hired at MATC as Associate Dean in 2018 and transitioned to the Dean role in 2019 in hopes of better career outcomes for the underrepresented communities in Milwaukee.

“My interest in STEM literally began in my doctoral program when I learned early on that there was a gross underrepresentation of people of color and women in that industry,” said Dr. Goodwyn.

With Dr. Goodwyn’s knowledge, she’s leading the center to accomplish its primary goals which are to guarantee the success of MATC’s STEM students, inspire K-12 students to pursue STEM as a career, and create a better bond for STEM industry partnerships in Wisconsin.

Exploring STEM

If you or someone you know is interested in a career in STEM, click here.

Joy Boyd

Joy Boyd is a freelance writer with a background in marketing with diversity, equity & inclusion efforts. She has managed digital media platforms for Black empowerment publications and has written biweekly newsletters on topics from self-awareness to retaining talent in local communities. Her goal is to put out positive and educational messaging.

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