Changing the Game: Multidimensional Mentoring and Partnerships in the Recruitment of Underrepresented Students in Fisheries
Stacy A. C. Nelson, Ernie F. Hain, Brett M. Hartis, and Ashanti Johnson
Historically, the American education system has been regarded as one of the greatest academic institutions in the world. It has attracted young scholars from developed and developing nations to experience the renowned American melting pot. The role of our institutions of higher education is ever more crucial today as the United States faces growing competition from other nations in science, technology, commerce, capitalism, and education. Often these other nations are less racially diverse than the United States, which is now regarded as one of the most racially diverse countries in the world. Thus, as the United States continues to become increasingly multiethnic, multiracial, and multicultural, our colleges and universities have a unique requirement to ensure that future generations of leaders remain nationally and globally competitive. Our institutions must expand access to research and education opportunities for future leaders who are just as racially and culturally diverse as the nation they serve. In this chapter, we present a broad overview of the challenges faced in attracting and recruiting historically underrepresented minorities in the fisheries sciences at graduate levels, as well as highlight some of the personal experiences of coauthor Stacy Nelson. Finally, we provide insight into a new program that develops valued partnerships with minority-serving intuitions to attract, recruit, and retain students in the discipline.