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ASU director recognized for STEM leadership


RaShonda Flint
June 10, 2013

RaShonda Flint, director of TRIO Student Support Services STEM at ASU’s West campus, is among the seven Valley recipients of the sixth annual Positively Powerful Woman Awards, to be presented June 21, at the Ritz-Carlton, in Phoenix. The awards program is presented by Triad West Inc.

Flint was selected for the award in the category of STEM leadership. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The federally funded program that Flint directs provides targeted services and assistance to first-generation students, low-income students and students with documented disabilities who are majoring in STEM fields at the West campus. Since joining ASU in 2011, Flint has promoted academic success through the development and coordination of tutoring, advising, mentoring, programming and workshops designed to support underrepresented students majoring in STEM fields. Under her leadership the TRIO SSS STEM program has achieved a 95 percent retention rate, with 99 percent of participants achieving good academic standing and 60 students having graduated to date.

“Dr. Flint is remarkably adept at serving youth who have been marginalized by their race, gender and economic status, with passion and a deep understanding of STEM,” said Matthew Whitaker, ASU Foundation Professor of History and director of ASU’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, who nominated Flint for the Positively Powerful Woman Award. “Her TRIO Student Support Services STEM program at ASU is timely, innovative and forward-thinking. Her effective leadership of the program – which engenders academic achievement through advising, mentoring, programming, tutoring and workshops – is a model for readying young people for a future that is now.”

“Our TRIO team works directly with students daily, with the goal of helping our students succeed at ASU and receive a bachelor's degree, which will enable them to go on to graduate or professional school, or even directly into a STEM career,” Flint said. “I love my job because every day I get to help students get one step closer to their degree and achieving their educational dreams. Having spent my entire education in STEM majors and careers, I know how hard it is to be successful, and if I can provide any support or knowledge to our students to help them succeed, I am happy to do so.”

Flint earned a doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining ASU, she worked as a scientist in the neurobiology department at the University of Southern California, where her research focused on understanding how the brain contributes to disruptions in ingestive behaviors, which can result in eating disorders such as obesity. Flint has previously worked with programs that prepare disadvantaged students for both college and graduate school and is also a university instructor and lecturer.

“For the past two years, I have observed Dr. RaShonda Flint’s commitment to the academic and personal success of TRIO SSS-STEM students,” said Sharon Smith, interim dean of students at the West campus. “She advocates tirelessly to ensure that students receive and utilize beneficial program and university services and support, ultimately for degree attainment. Dr. Flint’s receipt of a Positively Powerful Woman Award recognizes the important role she plays in increasing the number of first-generation and low-income students who successfully graduate with STEM degrees and positively change family legacies.”

The TRIO SSS STEM program at ASU’s West campus has been sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education since 2010 to serve 130 students majoring in and/or interested in STEM fields. There are more than 1,000 TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) programs in the United States and its territories that have provided assistance and services to first-generation, low-income students and students with disabilities since 1968. The goal of TRIO SSS programs is to increase the number of disadvantaged students who successfully obtain a bachelor’s degree.

Across ASU there are five SSS programs servicing almost 1,000 students. More information about TRIO at ASU may be found at https://students.asu.edu/trio/stem.

Additional 2013 Positively Powerful Woman Award recipients are Debbie Gaby, Patricia Hibbeler, Kimber Lanning, Shirley Mays, Jackie Thompson and Marian Yim. The awards luncheon on June 21 will be followed by an afternoon Conversation on Leadership summit.