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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

SUNY-ESF Hosts Ecologist Working to Link Minority Children with Science Careers


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An ecologist famed for her efforts to introduce minority children to science at an early age will visit the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) next week.

Dr. Shirley M. Malcom, who heads the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will speak at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in 5 Illick Hall on the ESF campus. Her topic will be “Bringing Science to People and People to Science: New Faces — New Places."

Local educators and those who work with youth through school, church or civic organizations are encouraged to attend Malcom's presentation.

In her position with the AAAS, Malcom oversees programs in education, activities for under-represented groups, and efforts to increase public understanding of science and technology. Malcom created two projects aimed at teaching minority children about the wonders of science: the National Black Churches Project, which uses churches to bring science education to African American communities, and Proyecto Futuro, which creates bilingual materials to help provide science education in Latino communities.

Malcom forged a career in science after growing up in Birmingham, Ala., and graduating from an all-black high school. She earned her bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Washington, where she was frequently the only black student in class. She went on to receive her master's degree in zoology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and her doctorate in ecology from Pennsylvania State University.

When she began working with the AAAS, her first project was to conduct an inventory of programs in science for minority students. The result was her landmark report, “The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science."

Malcom has also served as chair of the National Science Board, which is the policy-making body of the National Science Foundation, and is a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. Malcom has chaired several national committees addressing education reform and providing access for a broader range of students to scientific and technical careers and literacy.

Her visit is sponsored by the college's Urban Initiative in conjunction with the ESF Women's Caucus and the Office of Multicultural Outreach.