To the Editor

On the occasion of the launch of the Journal of STEM Leadership and Broadening Participation, I feel it important to acknowledge the symbolic significance of this journal as a unique space for the publication of novel work from the perspectives of educators representing diverse lived and professional experiences. I felt compelled to submit a short piece, not because I teach at an Historically Black College and University (HBCU) (in fact, I teach at a Predominately White Institution (PWI) ), but because I have had the distinct honor of supporting STEM faculty both through Project Kaleidoscope’s STEM Leadership Institute (PKAL-SLI) and, since 2019, as a coach for the Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) Leadership Development Program. These two opportunities have helped me both as a STEM leader and as a leader in general. In fact, the immensely rewarding work I have done for both PKAL and CASL has profoundly changed how I approach my job and, most importantly, how I engage with my students.

Interacting with faculty and other dedicated colleagues across the spectrum of colleges and universities, and especially HBCU faculty, has given me a deeper appreciation of my own 28-year professional journey, and the professional isolation I felt for many of those years in just about every way imaginable. However, all that changed in the summer of 2016, when I participated in what was a truly transformative event, the PKAL-SLI. To say my eyes were opened is an understatement of immense proportion. So many things had an impact on me during that week of intensive work, but something that I did not expect was the extent faculty participants supported each other and were genuinely invested in each other’s success. In fact, it was this ‘it takes a village’ mindset that made me realize the importance of supporting others as they move along their respective career paths.

Thus, my experiences with both PKAL-SLI and CASL have afforded me the opportunity to evolve in my own approach to faculty development. Whether serving as a coach or as the director of a center for faculty development, I owe my success in large part to having the opportunity to learn about the many components of leadership and to receive support and be valued by very talented and committed colleagues. Due to my coaching work, I have a greater appreciation of the importance of being part of a unique professional network. In my humble opinion, this work is of the highest order and represents a village that provides support for a diverse community. We succeed because we support each other. We succeed because we respect each other.

And so, I end this letter with this simple request: support those who have supported you. You can do this by supporting this journal, by submitting your work, and by encouraging others to do the same. This journal presents a wonderful opportunity to create a publishing space dedicated to STEM leadership and participation. It provides a space to all that will be sustained by and will sustain STEM leaders across all Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Author Bio

Harry Price received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Illinois Chicago and has held a university faculty appointment since 1995. He joined Stetson University in 2001, has been recognized multiple times for teaching excellence, and makes significant contributions to the university via service and leadership. As director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence, Harry is tasked with leading faculty development initiatives that span teaching and leadership.