Andy Vaughan has spent most of the past 22 years building and selling technology-based solutions for the higher education marketplace. With Intelliworks, he is focused on assisting institutions in driving recruitment, retention, and on-going engagement with alumni – by creating relationship capital. Through the application of best practices and flexible technologies, he is working to bring prospective students together with best-fit programs to provide enhanced educational opportunities. Andy Vaughan has a strong commitment to enhancing enrollments of women and minorities in STEM programs, and works tirelessly to push this agenda every opportunity he gets.
Dr. Gupta: How did you become interested in this issue?
Andy: This is a national issue and as a professional who works closely with institutions of higher learning, I understand its importance from a strategic perspective. Our national competitive posture depends on our ability to make full use of our intellectual talent. We must be a driver for local and national action. We need to create new ways to meet our workforce challenges and to create educational opportunities for under-served groups.
Dr. Gupta: What are some ways to encourage women and minorities to pursue STEM programs? Andy: Frankly, this requires a coordinated effort on the part of all stakeholders. One thing that we can all do working together is to drive awareness among prospective students about the benefits of attending college, in general, and opportunities created by enrolling in specific programs. Institutions must find better ways to engage less-visible students and to manage these critical relationships over the long term. Many people don’t receive the support they need to find, enroll, and complete STEM programs.
Dr. Gupta: What is your opinion about Rochester’s readiness to address this issue?
Andy: Rochester has a strong commitment to education, world-renowned institutions, and a host of unique educational opportunities. Unfortunately, efforts to recruit women and minorities into STEM programs seem sporadic and ad hoc. Educational leaders in our community – and elsewhere – are aware of this and are trying to work together. We must move away from our parochial mindset into a more global way of thinking. And we need to focus on addressing the issue from a systemic, P-16 perspective. We must make it easy for people to come together within a framework that leverages each other’s efforts.
Dr. Gupta: How does your company, Intelliworks, help institutions of higher learning recruit women and minorities to STEM programs?
Andy: No one company or product can provide a magical solution to this issue. We focus on holistic and comprehensive solutions that identify prospects and support them in achieving their objectives. We strive to provide flexible solutions to attract students who may be hard-to-reach or at high-risk of exiting short of their goals.