Advocate for female engineering and science students wins award
CLEMSON — The director of a Clemson University program that supports female engineering and science majors is in Detroit Friday to accept an award from Women of Color magazine.
Serita Acker, the director of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), has won the magazine’s College-Level Promotion of Education award.
“I’m excited,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to again give Clemson University national exposure and showcase our efforts to fill the STEM pipeline with more women and underrepresented students.”
WISE offers mentoring, networking, tutoring, professional development opportunities and a living-and-learning community for sophomore students (WISER). Acker also oversees several academic summer camps and outreach programs for students in the K-12 system.
“I congratulate Serita on her award, the latest of many,” said Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering and Science.
“Her work helps the college recruit and retain underrepresented groups in engineering and science, which is vital to creating a diverse workforce. We are truly lucky to have a leader like her.”
Acker will be presented with the award during the 19th Women of Color STEM Conference.
“Never before in the history of the conference has judging been so difficult — this year’s class of nominees was the largest and strongest yet,” CEO and Publisher Tyrone D. Taborn wrote in a letter to Acker.
Acker joined Clemson’s Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) staff in 1995. The position led to her involvement with WISE.
In January, Acker was presented with the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Excellence in Service Award.
She was also recently selected as a mentor in the American Association of Community College’s Mentor Links program.
As a mentor, she will have the opportunity to share best practices for educating, recruiting and retaining students for career paths in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math. Ten mentors nationwide were selected through the National Science Foundation and this grant to share expertise in STEM.