SCI-Southwest is committed to improving science education at all levels. To this end, we have developed a number of SENCER courses: Sustainable Physical Science, Earth Science in the Context of Natural Disasters, Introduction to Environmental Chemistry, Climate Change, and Water in a Changing World.

We have also developed a transdisciplinary certificate program titled: Science, Society and Sustainability and have created two additional SENCER courses to support the certificate: Conversations in Community Sustainability and Building Sustainable Communities.

Finally, we are incorporating SENCER Ideals into our chemistry/biochemistry undergraduate and graduate program through the development of the dual poster project. Here, students present their research with both a technical poster and a public poster. The public poster is designed to explain the research to lay people and discuss the broader impacts of the project.

Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan and Cynthia Maguire of SCI-Southwest and Texas Woman's University

Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan and Cynthia Maguire of SCI-Southwest and Texas Woman’s University at SSI 2016

In addition to the above initiatives, we have sponsored symposia at national meetings (American Chemical Society and the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education) to inform other educators about SENCER. We have one book published from the proceedings of one of these symposia and another forthcoming. We have also formed a partnership with the Mississippi River Field Institute of the National Audubon Society to monitor the environment associated with the Mississippi River watershed.

SCI-Southwest initiatives are open to participants around the United States but are primarily designed to address the needs and interests of individuals in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

About the Host Institution: Texas Woman’s University

Texas Woman’s University is the host institution for the SCI-Southwest. Established in 1901, Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is unique as the nation’s largest university primarily for women with enrollment for this academic year exceeding 14,000: over 90% of these students are women and some 44% are from underrepresented groups. As such, Texas Woman’s University has a strong commitment to educating female and other ethnically diverse students, both in the state of Texas and nationally. The primary mission of TWU is to empower students by inspiring intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning, embracing scholarship and research, developing leadership and personal responsibility, and promoting diversity and respect for all individuals.

Recent News

SCI-West has recently added Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan as a new Co-Director. You can read the full announcement here. In addition to the announcement, fellow Co-Director Cynthia Maguire said that “It’s been obvious from the moment Nasrin interviewed for her position at TWU that she is a great fit for TWU and for SENCER. Her heart overflows for her students with great enthusiasm for making learning physics accessible to them. Working with her is pure pleasure–plus, she makes us laugh every day!”

Regional Symposia

STEM Education in Mississippi: Issues and Innovations
September 29, 2017
Belhaven University
SCI-Southwest Spring 2017 Meeting
Thursday, February 2-3, 2017
Texas Woman's University
High-Impact STEM Education Conference
June 9-10, 2016
University of Denver
SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) and Campus Compact – Mountain West are partnering to host a conference focusing on advancing STEM teaching and learning through high-impact practices (e.g. undergraduate research and community engagement) and compelling civic issues, particularly sustainability.  We invite a thread of indigenous science and ways of knowing through all of our tracks. We also welcome faculty across the disciplines to engage in discussions through the conference.


Track 1 – Undergraduate Research through the STEM Curriculum

Organizers: Dick Sheardy and Cynthia Maguire from Texas Woman’s University, Steve Bachofer at St. Mary’s College of California

Track 2 – Models for Community Engagement focused on STEM

Organizers: Stephanie Schooley with Campus Compact, Bob Franco from Kapiolani Community College  and Ulla Hasager from University Hawaii Manoa

Track 3 – Sustainability: Responsibility and Engagement across all disciplines:

Organizers: Amy Shachter from Santa Clara University and Cat Kleier from Regis University

Track 4 – Strengthening the Liberal Arts: Humanities, Social Sciences and STEM in Partnership: Eliza Reilly from The SENCER National Center and Stephen Carroll from Santa Clara University

Detailed Schedule

Download (PDF, 126KB)

Track Leader Bios

Download (PDF, 363KB)

Meeting Resources

9 Steps to Designing a SENCER Model in 1 Hour
Presented by Stephen Carroll and Eliza Reilly

Download (PDF, 607KB)

Strategic Local Partnerships for Engaging Undergraduate Science Students in Opportunities of Civic Importance
Presented by G. Reid Bishop

Download (PDF, 7.96MB)

More Ideas to Build on the Zoo Project
Presented by G. Reid Bishop

Download (PDF, 58KB)

Animal Movement Study
Video by Belhaven University Students

High Impact STEM Learning and the Humanities
Presented by Eliza Reilly and Stephn Carroll

Download (PDF, 878KB)

Campus Compact of the Mountain West
Presented by CCMW

Download (PDF, 774KB)

Undergraduate Research and Civic Engagement
Presented by Steve Bachofer, Richard Sheardy, and Cynthia Maguire

Download (PDF, 2.63MB)

High Impact STEM Education: A SENCER Campus Compact Partnership
Presented by Amy Shachter

Download (PDF, 431KB)

Track 3: Sustainability Description and Overview
Presented by Amy Shachter and Catherine Kleier

Download (PDF, 403KB)

A SENCER Model: Chemistry and the Environment
Presented by Amy Shachter

Download (PDF, 160KB)

Strategies for Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum
Presented by Amy Shachter

Download (PDF, 433KB)

SCI-Southwest Spring 2016 Meeting
January 29, 2016
Texas Woman's University

Friday, January 29, 2016
9:00am – 4:00pm
Texas Woman’s University
Ann Stuart Science Complex

Expanding Civic Capacity: Connecting learning to critical real-world issues through undergraduate research and sustainability education

Tentative Agenda:

Morning Session: SENCER Ways of Undergraduate Research

Student Engagement in Learning through Civic Engagement
Joseph L. Kirsch
Butler University

Strategic Local Partnerships for Engaging Undergraduate Science Majors
and Non-Majors in Opportunities of Civic Importance
G. Reid Bishop
Belhaven University

Conceptualizing and Implementing a Research Informed Teaching Platform for Civic Engagement
Rob Sanford & Joe Staples
University of Southern Maine

SENCER Do-Now Social Media in the Classroom
Thomas C. Wood
George Mason University

Stephen Carroll
Santa Clara University

Afternoon Session: People, Planet, Profits: Multidisciplinary Trouble?

Sustainability: What, How, and Why Now? Ver. 2.0
Catherine Middlecamp
University of Wisconsin‒Madison

Hearing and Acting on the Cries of the World: The Challenge for Educating STEM Majors
Matt Fisher
Saint Vincent College

Urban Environmental Issues Rebooted
Steven Bachofer
St. Mary’s College

Science and Global Sustainability: Evolution of a Course for Non-science Majors
Bettie Davis
Saint Vincent College

TBA Session
Monica Devanas
Rutgers University

Meeting Flyer

Download (PDF, 538KB)

SCI-Southwest Spring 2015 Meeting
January 23, 2015
Texas Woman's University

Southwest Co-Directors

Dr. Cynthia Maguire, SCI-Southwest Co-Director

Ms. Cynthia Maguire
Chemistry & Biochemistry Senior Lecturer
Texas Woman’s University


Photo--Nasrin Kohan

Dr. Nasrin Mirsaleh-Kohan
Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Texas Woman’s University

Leadership Council

Dr. Brian Bilyeu
Xavier University

Dr. Reid Bishop
Bellhaven University

Mr. Ron Chandler
Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephant

Dr. Kristen Kulinowski
Rice University

Dr. Catherine Middlecamp
University of Wisconsin Madison