AGEP Prime: Building a Community of Scholars


Associate professor Edray Goins received a grant through the Midwest Crossroads Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) to form a "community of scholars" in the mathematical sciences among the graduate students at Purdue. During the summer of 2011, he ran a lecture series, "The Journey from Undergraduate to the Professoriate," that featured minority faculty from around the U.S.

AGEP PRiME (Midwest Crossroads Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate: Purdue Research in Mathematics Experience) consisted of several components: recruiting for future graduate students, retention of current graduate students, and enrichment of the campus as a whole.

"We have many African-American graduate students at Purdue who are involved in some aspect of the underrepresented mathematical community," Goins stated. "It's a shame that the only time we see each other is at Blackwell-Tapia, CAARMS, Field of Dreams, Infinite Possibilities, or USTARS. I designed AGEP PRiME with them in mind, so that those of us in mathematics, statistics, and mathematics education could form a more cohesive group."

On Fridays throughout the summer, Goins brought five college professors in the mathematical sciences to tour the campus, conduct a 15-minute video interview, give a 60-minute research talk, and dine with graduate students. Many of the invited guests were faculty at colleges with significant minority populations.