2021 SOSI Center Virtual Summer Institute

Click here to view the general agenda!


About The SOSI Center

Housed at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), the Louis Stokes Regional Center of Excellence for the Study of STEM Interventions (SOSI Center) is a newly awarded NSF initiative which supports an inter-institutional collaboration between MU, Understanding Interventions that Broaden Participation in Science (UI), and the University of Michigan. The SOSI Center focuses on cultivating the cultural awareness and scholarly productivity of future and existing STEM training program leaders by providing venues for training and development related to critical, strengths-based theories and evidence-based practices. These concepts focus on facilitating underrepresented students’ success in STEM through:

  • exploration of mechanisms that center students’ identities, cultures, and experiences, in meaningful ways, within STEM programming, teaching, mentoring, and research;
  • implementation of research guided by identity-focused, and social-cognitive theoretical frameworks;
  • methodologies relevant to developing critical scholarly contributions to inform practice and scholarship development and dissemination.

Overview of the SOSI Center Institute

Although there has been growth in recent years in the dissemination of evidence based practices related to STEM training, practitioners, often trained in the basic sciences, have found the need for training in the relevant social and behavioral sciences not only for implementation, but for the generation of scholarship in a translational context, useful for dissemination and adoption.

The 2021 SOSI Center Summer Institute titled: Translating Critical, Strengths-Based Conceptual Frameworks to STEM Programming & Design will focus on providing program leaders with training relevant to the understanding and implementation of strength based frameworks for STEM interventions as well as the production of scholarship generated from program outcomes. Through our interactive workshops, panel discussions, and individual coaching, the Institute will provide training for its participants to:

  • Develop a critical-ecological understanding of the “problem” regarding facilitating underrepresented students’ success and matriculation in postsecondary STEM.

  • Learn about strengths-based theoretical frameworks, specifically Community Cultural Wealth (CCW), Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems ‎‎(PVEST), and Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) and how they can be used to design, implement, evaluate, and research STEM programming.

  • To foster an environment where participants can reflect on how to implement the theories of change and measurements into their own practice.


Translating Critical, Strengths-Based Conceptual Frameworks to STEM Programming & Design


2021 SOSI Institute Invitation

The 2021 SOSI Summer Institute will be delivered virtually by way of a premiere virtual conference venue called Underline. For our inaugural summer institute, we hope to deliver a successful conference experience, utilizing a digital video library and virtual live streaming venue.

Click Here to Register for FREE!


Registration and Event Reception Page

Participants will receive notification to register for the Summer Institute via Underline. Once you have set up an account with Underline, you will receive a ticket to access the 2021 SOSI event reception page a few days before the start of the institute, where you can see general meeting information and breaking news.


Once you have access to the event reception page, you can click on the schedule tab to navigate the institute’s detailed agenda.  Please note that all activities and sessions are Central Standard Time (CST). The general agenda can be viewed hereAlso, check back soon for a program handbook that will be uploaded on the institute’s webpage. The handbook will include profiles of speakers, descriptions of sessions and the detailed agenda.

Main Stage and Sessions Page

There is also a main stage area and sessions page, which offer participants a crisp, high quality video and front row experience. Real time chat and Q&A with the speaker are also available.

Underline Virtual Lounge

Underline Virtual Lounge (Gathertown) is a space for participants to digitally chat and discuss collaboration opportunities. Gather town allows participants to choose and customize an avatar that will function in a highly interactive, fun and social space.

Digital Library

After the conference, each presentation is saved as its own video publication for a specified amount of time in the digital library. Utilizing their underline account, participants can continue to view presentations and some materials until the view time for the institute conference page expires. Additionally, video lectures are enriched with abstracts and captions, to name a few of the features provided.






SOSI Center Leadership

Michael Garcia, PhD
SOSI Center Program Director
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri-Columbia
Email garciaml@missouri.edu
NaTashua Davis, PhD
SOSI Center Principal Investigator
Associate Vice Chancellor, Access and Leadership Development
Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity
University of Missouri-Columbia
Email davisnat@missouri.edu
Terrell Morton, PhD
SOSI Center Co-Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Identity and Justice in STEM Education
University of Missouri-Columbia
Email mortontr@missouri.edu
Natalie Downer, PhD
SOSI Center Co-Principal Investigator
MO LSAMP MU Site Coordinator
Associate Director, McNair Scholars Program
University of Missouri-Columbia
Email downern@missouri.edu
Anthony DePass, PhD
SOSI Center Program Co-Director
Director, Understanding Interventions that Broaden Participation in Science
President, DePass Academic Consulting
Email adepass@depassconsulting.com
Shanta Outlaw, MS
Program Manager, Understanding Interventions Conference and Programs
University of Texas
Health Science Center at San Antonio
Email soutlaw@depassconsulting.com
Angela Ebreo, PhD
Associate Director of the Diversity Research & Policy Program (DRPP)
University of Michigan
Email aebreo@umich.edu