CLEMSON — Clemson University’s PEER & WISE program is receiving the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Clemson University will be featured, along with 77 other recipients, in the September 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

PEER & WISE will be on the cover.

Crystal Pee, right, works with a student in the new PEER-WISE Study Hall Annex.

Crystal Pee (right) works with a student in the new PEER-WISE Study Hall Annex.

Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives.

Lee Gill, chief inclusion and equity officer at Clemson University, congratulated PEER & WISE on the award.

“The award provides confirmation that PEER & WISE is succeeding in its mission to educate, recruit and retain students from underrepresented populations,” he said. “I’d like to congratulate Serita Acker, faculty who work with her, along with her staff, students and alumni, on this well-deserved honor.”

Acker, the director of PEER & WISE, said it’s an honor to accept the award on behalf of the program.

“PEER & WISE transforms lives and helps close the achievement gap,” she said. “In our program, students from underrepresented populations come to understand that they are not alone in their pursuit of STEM degrees and that they are fully capable of achieving their dreams. The initiatives we have put in place help position them for success. Our alumni have gone on to influential jobs in the public and private sector, as well as academia.”

Brad Putman, associate dean of undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, said the award is well-deserved.

“PEER & WISE supports underrepresented populations as they pursue engineering and science degrees at Clemson, thereby diversifying the talent that flows from the university to the workplace,” he said. “This award honors the students, faculty and staff who are involved in PEER & WISE and enhances our diversity-and-inclusion efforts by spreading the word about this successful program.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected Clemson University’s PEER & WISE because the program successfully educates, recruits and retains underrepresented populations in STEM fields through mentoring, academic coaching, counseling and academic enrichment.

“We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication and mentorship for underrepresented students,” said Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

A call for nominations for this award was announced in April 2018.

For more information about the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit


INSIGHT Into Diversity
INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education today and is known for its annual INSIGHT Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, the only award that recognizes colleges and universities for outstanding diversity and inclusion efforts across their campuses. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion in higher education and beyond. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as explorations of best practices and profiles of exemplary programs. In our Career Center, readers will also discover career opportunities that connect job seekers with institutions and businesses that embrace a diverse and inclusive workforce. Current, archived and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at