Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science
NSERC Chair for Inclusion in Science and Engineering (Atlantic)
Chairs for Inclusion in Science and Engineering Program
Chairholder since 2023
Dr. Hewitt is a professor of physics and the inaugural associate dean of equity and inclusion at the Faculty of Science at Dalhousie University. Awarded the top national (NSERC Award for Science Promotion) and provincial (Discovery Centre Science Champion) awards for science promotion, he has been at the forefront of EDI efforts in the sciences at the institutional, community, regional, and national levels. Two decades ago, he co-founded Imhotep’s Legacy Academy (ILA), an innovative university-community partnership that uniquely mobilizes university/college students, faculty and community leaders to help improve student success and bridge the achievement gap for grades 6-12 and postsecondary students of African heritage in Nova Scotia. The ILA is being replicated nationally and internationally, and in 2018 was recognized with the President’s Award for the Advancement of EDI.
Atlantic Chairs for Inclusion in Science and Engineering (A-CISE) is bringing together three leaders to help change the face of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the Atlantic region: Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie (Cape Breton University), Dr. Kevin Hewitt (Dalhousie University) and Dr. Svetlana Barkanova (Memorial University of Newfoundland). A-CISE aims to reach underrepresented groups across the region, including women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized groups, and members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities, with a particular focus on First Nations and Francophone communities, African Nova Scotians and remote and rural communities.
A-CISE will provide a broad range of opportunities and experiences in STEM to underrepresented groups in Atlantic Canada. It will focus on recruitment into and retention within STEM fields by offering programs that build upon successful local examples, eventually extending them regionally and nationally. Our A-CISE team will collect resources and data to develop and effect policy and systemic change within our communities, ranging from elementary school impacts to tenure track processes.
Six initiatives will be scaled up to become regional flagships, offering continuity with already successful programs offered by the applicants and the current Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE). Four of these initiatives offer continuity with other Atlantic WISE programs, such as WISE Retreats, the ACT conference, summer camps and the Catalyze and Facilitate Partnerships program. Two of these initiatives align with Dr. Hewitt’s STEM curricula, developed for Imhotep’s Legacy Academy (ILA) for grades 6-9 and Dr. Barkanova’s Physics in the Rural classroom.
The new A-CISE team will introduce four new regional initiatives: the A-CISE scholar employment program, which focuses on grades 9 and 10, critical years when students make decisions about entering STEM; Indigenous Science (In.Science), which is led by Unama’ki College; a national and regional speaker role model roster and fund to subsidize the travel and accommodation of speakers to Atlantic institutions; and connecting communities across the region on the occasion of the total solar eclipse, occurring on April 8, 2024.
Four policy and systemic change initiatives will address critical issues in STEM: STEM education policy with regional departments of education, outreach in tenure and promotion processes with deans of science and engineering, science fair structure and inclusivity policy examination with Youth Science Canada, and a promising practice database development with graduate students.
Contributions to the scholarship on STEM engagement by equity deserving groups (EDGs) in Canada will focus on two areas grounded in graduate student thesis work: self-evaluation tools in Canadian STEM outreach programs and career choices between physical sciences and engineering.
The A-CISE team has developed a strategic plan that launches new programing, but also builds upon existing, successful and impactful programing that require additional resources. For example, our Catalyze and Facilitate Partnerships program builds upon the former Atlantic CWSE’s Partnership Funding program and will help launch new programs. Our programing covers K-12 and postsecondary and into professions and communities. Our strategies are connected to several objectives and concrete initiatives that will reach a broad range of underrepresented groups. Our partners include sponsors that will enable an Atlantic Canadian impact and Advisors that help us fill gaps in understanding and representation.
- Auburn High Afrocentric Math Cohort program
- CBU Student Development Officer for Students of African Nova Scotian and Canadian Descent
- Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute
- Dr. Nola Etkin, Dean of Science, UPEI
- Eddia Solas – Mount St. Vincent University
- Imhotep’s Legacy Academy
- The Labrador Campus of Memorial University
- Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey’s
- MUN – Faculty of Engineering
- Newfoundland Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology
- Parks Canada
- Qalipu FN
- Science Atlantic
- UNB – Faculty of Engineering
- WISE Acadia
- WISE NL
- Women in Aerospace Canada
Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science