Dr. Sederick Charles Rice, Ph.D. an associate professor of biology at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) was nominated and selected as a 2019-2020 Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership (CASL) Fellow. CASL is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and associated with broadening participation in STEM at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The 12-month CASL Leadership Program is designed to produce a new generation of STEM leaders at HBCUs and ultimately throughout American higher education.

The innovative professional development program will be organized around live webinars, writing assignments, role-playing activities, evaluating case studies, and four scheduled in-person residencies in Washington, D.C., Greensboro, NC, Atlanta, GA, and St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. CASL Fellows will receive guest presentations from higher education leaders on theory and practice of leadership, which also broadens participation in STEM, extracted from Bolman & Gallos’ book on Reframing Academic Leadership and complete a 360 assessment of their leadership strengths and challenges. CASL Fellows will also plan and implement a Leadership Learning Project (LLP), with guidance from senior STEM leader-coaches to explore how leadership at UAPB and at other HBCUs relates to broadening participation in STEM.

A 1994 UAPB graduate, Rice also earned a master’s degree in biology from Delaware State University in 1996, and a Ph.D. in cell/molecular biology from the University of Vermont, College of Medicine in 2003. Rice has collaborated with the UAPB STEM Scholars Academy and provides instruction for undergraduate, graduate, and teacher education students at UAPB.

Rice also conducts research on the role of 3D spatial visualization on learning and STEM content retention, and actively provides outreach and training to K-12 school district teachers and administrators throughout the Arkansas Delta. His current research adds to the body of knowledge on how educators translate data into visual displays, analyze and present statistical data, and identifies instructor and students’ strengths and weaknesses for using and benefiting from immersive 3D Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) approaches across STEM interdisciplinary fields. Dr. Rice is chair of the UAPB Faculty Staff Senate, serves on the Go Forward Pine Bluff Board of Directors (Education), is a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Working Group on Diversity Subcommittee, volunteers with Arkansas Coordinated Child Effort in State Services (ACCESS, Inc.) and he currently serves as chair of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission (AMHC).