Newswise — Luz Minaya, director, Field Placement and Certification in NYIT School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Education, has received the 2017 Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Inspiring Leaders in STEM Award honors professionals from underrepresented groups who have made a difference in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Minaya will be featured, along with 39 other recipients, in the September 2017 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Award recipients were nominated by colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on their 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.

“Among her many accomplishments, Luz has been instrumental in working with faculty to include public schools in innovative National Science Foundation grant proposals to bring STEM-related research projects into classrooms,” says Jim Martinez, NYIT associate professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, who nominated Minaya for this award. “She also traveled to Nicaragua with NYIT’s Alternative Spring Break program and introduced tablet computers to teachers and students in rural schools there and then independently funded a mobile Internet connection for those teachers, whom she has been training online for the past year.”

Minaya, who earned a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from NYIT in 2011 and joined the staff in 2015, oversees field placement and teacher certification for the departments of Teacher Education, School Counseling, and Instructional Technology.  She is also an adjunct professor and teaches the Educational Uses of Social Media course.

“This recognition reaffirms my commitment to continue breaking barriers and creating opportunities for all in STEM-related fields, and it gives me a greater sense of responsibility to serve as a model practitioner, student, and colleague for the next generation,” she said. “Moving forward, in working with colleagues and continuing my education in a doctoral program, my research will focus on educator perceptions when teaching students from underrepresented groups by examining the ways they evaluate students’ potential in the STEM fields, and questioning why educators may limit students’ access to STEM and related activities.”

According to Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, “This award is being presented as a tribute to those whose work and achievements not only encourage others in their individual STEM fields, but also inspire a new generation of young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. This year’s honorees truly are an inspiration to all who are working so diligently to make a difference in the lives of women and other underrepresented individuals.” 

Minaya is the third NYIT recipient of a prestigious national award from this magazine in as many years. In 2015, Nada Marie Anid, Ph.D., dean of NYIT School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, received a 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award and Brookshield Laurent, D.O., vice chair of Clinical Specialties, NYITCOM at Arkansas State University, was honored with a 2016 Inspiring Women in STEM Award.