News at Mason
Kamaljeet Sanghera selected for the Virginia STEM Education Commission
August 28, 2019 / by John Hollis
A George Mason University professor was recently appointed to the new Virginia Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Commission established by Gov. Ralph Northam.
Kamaljeet Sanghera was among 43 members selected from a wide range of state and local stakeholders, including representatives from early childhood, K-12, post-secondary, out-of-school, informal and environmental education programs.
The commission, which will be chaired by first lady of Virginia Pamela Northam, aims to develop a statewide plan that will prepare state students for STEM jobs of the future. Working in unison with government and nongovernment entities, the commission plans to reshape state curriculum and course design while keeping state and local policy makers informed.
“This really is an honor,” said Sanghera, an associate professor within the Department of Information Sciences and Technology and the executive director of STEM Outreach for the Volgenau School of Engineering. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate alongside so many STEM trailblazers across the state. Virginia is doing wonderful things in advancing STEM education and connecting these efforts to the needs of the job market. As a member of this committee, I will be a part of helping shape and build upon this momentum statewide. I look forward to sharing all of the amazing things we are doing here at George Mason University.”
In an effort to close the achievement gaps in STEM-related fields, the commission will also address education inequities, which often limit access to advanced courses in STEM disciplines, credentials and work-based learning for many of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable and underrepresented students.
Virginia is expected to add nearly 150,000 new STEM jobs over the next five years, so it will be critical to sustain the talent pipeline employers will need by making sure that students have the skills necessary for the digital economy.
“As a pediatric neurologist, I recognize the importance of having a strong STEM background,” Gov. Northam said in a statement. “Our ability to remain one of the best states for education, innovation and business depends upon how well we prepare our next generation for 21st-century jobs. With its focus on addressing the evolving workforce needs and the persistent disparities in our education system, this commission will play a key role in ensuring we give all our students an opportunity to succeed in STEM-related fields.”
The commission will issue a written report with its findings and recommendations no later than July 1, 2020.