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KNOXVILLE — The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Terrell L. Strayhorn, associate professor of higher education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a CAREER Award to study the participation of women and minorities in science and other technical fields.

A CAREER Award is the NSF’s highest honor given to junior faculty.

Terrell Strayhorn
Terrell Strayhorn
Strayhorn, who also serves as special assistant to the provost, will receive about $500,000 over five years to support his research on the project titled, “Investigating the Critical Junctures: Strategies that Broaden Minority Participation in STEM Fields.”

He will look into the factors that lead to women and minorities, especially African American and Latino men, participating in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and the barriers that prevent or hinder their participation. These findings will be provided to educators and used in public policy, diversity and equity dialogues and discussions about the U.S. competing in the global economy.

The grant also will support Strayhorn’s K-12 outreach initiatives such as toolkits containing practical advice for students, parents and teachers. Additionally, he will train UT undergraduate and graduate students to conduct rigorous research on pathways to STEM. Students will work with Strayhorn to analyze data, co-author articles and present at professional conferences.

Strayhorn joined the UT faculty in 2005. He is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. He also serves as director and founder of the new Center for Higher Education Research and Policy (CHERP).


Terrell Strayhorn, (865) 974-6457,

Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179,