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President Mary K. Grant appointed to Governor's STEM Advisory Council

01/29/2010

            NORTH ADAMS, MA -Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) President Mary K. Grant has been appointed to the Governor's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Advisory Council, chaired by Lt. Governor Timothy Murray. The appointment was made at the Council's first meeting on Jan. 28, in Boston.

            The Council consists of advocates in the public and private sectors, legislators and educators. This advisory body will bring together public and private sector stakeholders involved with STEM planning and programming, with the goal of increasing student interest in, and preparation for, careers in the STEM fields.

            "I am delighted to take part in this important effort," Grant said. "As opportunities related to science, technology, engineering and math continue to grow, it is imperative that we encourage and educate our students to fill the STEM Pipeline Network, which is so vital to the economic success of the Commonwealth."

            Goals of the Council will include assessing how best to increase the number of STEM programs in schools in Massachusetts, advising on the creation and dissemination of a statewide STEM Plan with clearly defined goals and objectives for the next five years, and providing recommendations on a campaign to build public support across the Commonwealth for the STEM disciplines.  

            Other members of the Council include Education Secretary Paul Reville, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Greg Bialecki, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Suzanne Bump and State Representative Daniel E. Bosley, D-North Adams.

            A former chair of the state Council of Presidents (COP), Grant serves as president of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) and on three Massachusetts boards for science: the Commonwealth Information Technology Fund and Advisory Board, which focuses on the use of technology to advance teaching; the Robert H. Goddard Council on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education, which promotes the sciences in higher education; and the Treasurer's Covenant Fund, which forgives college loans for students studying to enter fields in the life sciences.

            In September 2007, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced that Grant would co-chair the education and technology subcommittee of the state's Readiness Project Leadership Council. A trustee of the Norman Rockwell Museum, Grant also is an officer of the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation and a member of its Education Committee. Additionally, she is a corporator of the Berkshire Museum, and serves on the MASS MoCA Cultural Development Commission.

            Grant was instrumental in making the case for a Center for Science and Innovation at MCLA, approved by Patrick in August 2008 when he appropriated $54.5 million for the facility in the Higher Education Bond Bill. In October 2009, Patrick announced a five-year capital plan that commits $500,000 to initiate the study phase of the project this fiscal year. The Center will be a resource for the Berkshire STEM Pipeline Network by making labs, classrooms and other resources available to the teachers and students of all ages. In this facility, MCLA students will prepare to enter the research pipeline and the life sciences workforce, as Massachusetts continues to be a world leader in biotechnology and the life sciences.