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STEM A Growing Initiative

Date: February 15, 2013

The STEM Division in the College of Arts & Sciences, comprised of the Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Department of Engineering & Computer Science, Department of Mathematics and Department of Physics, now has Rachel Boothby serving as the first STEM division enrollment coordinator. STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is a growing initiative at Andrews. STEM offers a unique experience for students integrating the scholastic resources and practices of larger state universities with an environment that fosters spiritual development.

What is STEM?
In 2006, the College of Arts & Sciences established four divisions: Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, and Health Professions. In 2012, the Health Professions division became the School of Health Professions.
STEM enables students to not only thrive in the professional STEM community, but contribute to their church community as well. STEM majors reflect the diversity present at Andrews University, breaking stereotypes about women and minorities in STEM fields.
In order to further serve students, the STEM Division looks to societal and church trends to project the needs of the STEM fields. An increase in STEM enrollment and retention will work towards the goal set by the 2012 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which states that American universities need to produce an extra one million college graduates in STEM fields. Perhaps because of the rigor of the curriculum, retention of STEM majors nationwide is too low, with less than 40% of incoming STEM-oriented students actually graduating with a STEM degree. The PCAST* report notes that retaining 50% of STEM majors rather than 40% will produce an extra three-quarters of a million STEM graduates in ten years.
The Andrews University Department of Engineering & Computer Science is a key focus area in the STEM division for growth according to both Keith Mattingly, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Shandelle Henson, professor of mathematics and chair of both the Department of Mathematics and the STEM Division.
“Engineering and computer science majors take many other STEM courses as cognates and often take second majors in other STEM fields. If one STEM department becomes stronger, we all do,” says Henson.
Specificity in marketing strategies and intentional recruitment has necessitated the brand new position of STEM enrollment coordinator. In late 2012, Rachel Boothby was hired to fill this position. Funding for an enrollment coordinator is provided by Physics Enterprises, an auxiliary entity of Andrews University. It designs and manufactures unique and affordable teaching equipment for classroom demonstrations and science labs suitable for all levels of education, as well as providing employment for University students.

STEM Enrollment Coordinator: Rachel Boothby
As the first STEM enrollment coordinator, Rachel Boothby will work with the STEM department chairs to increase awareness of STEM programs, attract students who are

Rachel Boothby is the first to serve as
STEM Division enrollment coordinator.
interested in the STEM programs, and build a healthy STEM community overall. She will also collaborate with the Division of Enrollment Management for specialty recruitment efforts and development of outreach programs. One such program is SciFest, planned for fall 2013. It will allow high school students to engage in STEM-related activities.
Boothby studied marketing at Andrews University and received a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2010. She continues her involvement in Andrews intramural sports and plays violin in the University Symphony Orchestra. As an Andrews alumnus, Boothby brings specific strengths to the STEM enrollment coordinator position.
Henson is excited about the qualities Boothby brings to STEM. “She understands and appreciates the unique strengths and potentials of this University and she is helping us to capitalize on them in the STEM fields.”
As STEM looks forward to growth and improvement, the experience of the student is paramount. Increasing numbers, upgrading lab equipment, and improving learning space are all steps to the ultimate goal of providing a holistic learning environment that activates an excitement for discovery.

*See the PCAST report at

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