The Iowa Illinois Nebraska STEM Partnership for Innovation in Research and Education (IINSPIRE) project is part of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.

LSAMP is a National Science Foundation (NSF) alliance among 16 two-year and four-year colleges and universities working together to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the Midwest.

The IINSPIRE Alliance goal is to address the need to remove the barriers impeding student progress and success in STEM fields before education and workforce disparities widen.

For more information about the IINSPIRE Alliance and its activities, you can check out the IINSPIRE website.

The LSAMP-IINSPIRE mission is to develop a model for Midwest colleges and universities to attract the states’ growing underrepresented minority (URM) population into STEM fields and attract students from other regions to STEM education opportunities in Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska. This will be accomplished through the following strategies:

  • Grow the pool of college-ready, STEM-prepared URM high school students.
  • Increase the number of URM students who choose STEM at each IINSPIRE Alliance institution.
  • Improve retention at all IINSPIRE Alliance institutions.
  • Inform teachers, counselors, parents, and students in Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois about the LSAMP-IINSPIRE Program and increase their awareness about STEM careers.
  • Engage current alliance students having interest and potential in STEM and increase their awareness about STEM majors and careers.
  • Collaborate with community-based recruiting models within the alliance.
  • Leverage and create initiatives that assist students in their transitions from high schools to colleges and from community colleges to bachelor-granting institutions.
  • Facilitate faculty collaboration across the alliance to share inclusive pedagogy and mentoring practices that lead to greater student success.
  • Connect and support students with mentored research opportunities.
  • Organize research training experiences for alliance students to earn a research certificate.
  • Provide training and resources for mentors who supervise undergraduate research projects.
  • Leverage institutional resources and partnerships, and use alliance and institutional data to implement effective programs based on institution-specific needs.
  • Assess alliance-wide and institutional outcomes and use evaluation results to inform and improve practices. 

Opportunities For You

Join a community of peers, mentors, faculty, and administrators who will help you excel at your own institution and throughout the LSAMP-IINSPIRE Alliance!

Here are some of the activities you’ll participate in as a LSAMP-IINSPIRE member:

  • STEM club.
  • Personal tutoring with professors.
  • Summer research opportunities at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Grinnell College, and potentially other high impact universities.
  • Conferences, including the LSMCE Annual Conference in the fall and the LSAMP-IINSPIRE Annual Conference in the spring – other conference travel may be possible depending on research accomplishments.
  • Social events, including the STEM Club annual field trip and end-of-semester gatherings.

Criteria For Participating

In order to participate in the LSAMP-IINSPIRE program at Kirkwood Community College, you must meet the following criteria:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident coming from an underrepresented minority (URM) group (African-American, Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander/Alaskan Native).
  • College GPA of 2.5 or high school GPA of 2.7.
  • Enrolled in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) program.



Jana Fowler, Associate Dean