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 an NSF initiative that 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.

For more information on SOSI, please contact the SOSI Center Director, Michael Garcia at

SOSI Center: Goals and Objectives

SOSI Center was founded with the purpose of improving student recruitment and retention in STEM by altering the approach to student training from deficit models to strength-based models. Our goals are:

  • Challenging and changing deficit-based approaches to supporting underrepresented students in STEM by teaching critical, strengths-based frameworks.
  • Demonstrating the capacity of critical, strengths-based frameworks to create and evaluate STEM learning spaces.
  • Offering a repository of resources specific to designing, implementing, researching, and evaluating STEM programming.
  • Increasing STEM programming research production and dissemination by teaching strategies for and presenting opportunities to publish.

SOSI Center: Activities, Tools and Resources

The SOSI Center leadership team works to coordinate a variety of activities, tools and resources designed to achieve the aforementioned goals .


Upcoming Events for 2023:

3rd Annual Summer Institute

Data Analysis Webinar

Past Events:

Summer Institutes:

2nd Annual Summer Institute: June 26 – 28, 2022

1st Summer Institute: June 17- 19, 2021

Lunch and Learn Webinar Series:

Integrating Theory and Data: February 24, 2023

What is Data?: November 4, 2022

Professional Development Events:

SOSI Presentation at National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) PI/PD Meeting, June 1-4, 2023

SOSI Presentation at 96th Annual National Association for Research in Science Teaching International Conference, 2023 

SOSI Presentation at Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM, 2023

Tools and Resources:

Understanding Interventions (UI) Index is a user-friendly platform developed by UI and updated in collaboration with SOSI. The UI Index is a platform for performing searches for literature on broadening participation in STEM.

Understanding Interventions (UI) Journal is a journal dedicated to publishing high quality work that focuses on interventions rather than the scientific rationale or scientific approach utilized in developing an intervention.

SOSI Center: Meet the Team

The SOSI Center draws from the expertise of a diverse multi-organizational group with expertise in STEM education research and practice, STEM intervention studies and evaluation, and theories that are attentive to and inclusive of underrepresented students’ identities, culture, and experiences.



For more information on SOSI, please contact the SOSI Center Director, Michael Garcia at