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Sharing Mason Science transfer program success with the National Academies

Kerin Hilker-Balkissoon at transfer day event

On June 25, 2023, Kerin Hilker-Balkissoon, Mason Science Director of Educational and Career Pathways, spoke about Mason's transfer programs on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine panel within “Building Defense Research Capacity at HBCUs, TCUs, HSIs, and ANNHSIs Town Hall 3.”

The talk, entitled “University-Led Action on Systemic and Student Inequities in STEM Transfer: Paving the Pathway to STEM Career Equity,” focused specifically on how investment in the STEM transfer pipeline is a sound approach to career equity and supports the development of a regional defense labor force. Mason's Provost Office invited Hilker-Balkissoon to represent Mason on the panel, who spoke about Mason’s transfer efforts (including ADVANCE, her work with STEM transfer students, and the exciting preliminary outcomes Mason's programs have observed.  The written proceedings of the convening will be published in a final report by the National Academies. 

Mason has a long history of investment in the two-to-four-year transfer pipeline, which is directly aligned with the university's inclusive excellence mission and an important part of our college's overall commitment to building a strong, career-ready regional STEM workforce.

Upon enrolling, new Mason transfers are engaged through specialized programming, including our nationally-recognized Scientific Community of Transfer Researchers Learning Community, to help them navigate the wide range of STEM academic and career readiness resources available at our Research 1-ranked university and beyond.

At the college level, "Mason Science is a national leader in providing innovative and inclusive experiences for our STEM students who transfer," Hilker-Balkissoon explained. She highlighted the pre-transfer outreach and events, including Mason's STEM Transfer Day and virtual Ask Me Anything sessions, along with our STEM Transfer Bootcamp for incoming transfers, as a robust array of services and supports to enhance the transfer experience. 

"Mason Science takes a holistic approach to our STEM transfer pathways design," said College of Science Dean, Fernando Miralles Wilhelm. "We blend high impact practices with cross-institutional partnerships and systemic interventions to maximize student success and STEM career readiness for our transfers," he explained.  

For more information about our Mason Science Transfer Equity and Success Initiatives, please visit