SOAR logo for TAPDINTO-STEM

Surmounting Obstacles for Academic Resilience

The Shared Measures Portal for NSF’s Eddie Bernice Johnson INCLUDES Initiative: TAPDINTO-STEM

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Introducing SOAR, your go-to platform for making a meaningful impact on postsecondary students with disabilities! SOAR streamlines how we measure success and communicate, ensuring that we’re all aligned and moving in the same direction.
SOAR is a game-changer. It provides faculty mentors, campus leads, and hub leads with real-time aggregated data on the educational needs of STEM students with disabilities. This enables us to customize our programs and resources effectively. The goal? To boost the number of students earning STEM degrees and to enhance collaboration across the board. The data we gather not only sheds light on what’s working but also helps us make informed decisions to overcome challenges. This sets the stage for the long-term improvements needed to elevate postsecondary education and career opportunities in STEM for individuals with disabilities.
Our mission is straightforward: to increase STEM degree completion rates for students with disabilities and to create a collaborative atmosphere where innovation thrives. By leveraging data from our alliance and institutional records, we’re better equipped to understand and address the unique challenges these students face.
The SOAR Portal is engineered to be a unified platform for tracking and communication. Shared measures, one of the five key elements for achieving collective impact, keep us focused and accountable as we work toward our shared goals. So let’s soar to new heights together!
In sync with the INLCUDES Network’s shared measures, SOAR collects vital data on participant demographics, activities, and other factors that align with our alliance’s mission. For TAPDINTO-STEM, our core objectives are:
  1. Boosting the number of students with disabilities who complete STEM degrees.
  2. Smoothing the path for these graduates into the STEM workforce.
  3. Strengthening ties among educational institutions, industry, government, national labs, and the community to better serve the educational needs of students with disabilities in STEM fields.

Your role in this alliance is crucial. By actively participating in the SOAR portal, you contribute to the collective impact we aim to achieve. Share your experiences, insights, and feedback through the portal to help shape TAPDINTO-STEM programs that benefit students, faculty, and administrators alike.

Your input is invaluable. Thank you for helping us understand your journey and for being an integral part of this transformative initiative!

INCLUDES collaborative infrastructure graphic for TAPDINTO-STEM

Meet the SOAR Portal Development Team

A collaboration between the University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Science and Engineering and Humanities and Social Sciences

Yugyung Lee Headshot
PROJECT LEAD

Dr. Yugyung (Yugi) Lee is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and specializes in AI and Machine Learning. Dr. Lee actively led all aspects of the portal design, with a primary focus on technology development and data analytics for the diverse populations involved in the projects.

Dr. Lee is a professor in the Computer Science Department at the School of Science and Engineering, University of Missouri-Kansas City. She also serves as the co-director of the Center for Big Learning, which is funded by the NSF IUCRC. Having led numerous initiatives sponsored by the NSF, NIH, and NEH, she has pioneered AI and AR/VR technologies for various learning science groups.

Dr. Lee currently supervises several doctoral students working on the core technologies for the NSF INCLUDES Alliance: The Alliance of Students with Disabilities for Inclusion, Networking, and Transition Opportunities in STEM (TAPDINTO-STEM). Moreover, she is a co-PI for the NSF NRT for deep learning and AI applied to drug and alcohol addiction in real-world problems. She is also involved in human-in-the-loop innovative approaches for hearing from neighborhoods, utilizing advanced technologies for virtual focus group meetings and surveys on public health and intervention services.

Dr. Lee’s Faculty Website
Google Scholar
Ye Want Headshot
PROJECT CO-LEAD

Dr. Ye Wang is a professor and Chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has a special interest in interdisciplinary collaboration with data scientists on human-AI approaches to extracting consumer insights from unstructured text data using computational methods. Dr. Wang assisted the portal developers with translating user needs and usability design, and assessment of the technology development.

Dr. Wang is the Chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism and a professor with a joint appointment in the Center for Digital and Public Humanities and the School of Science and Engineering. She has participated in multiple NSF-funded projects of interdisciplinary research.

For these interdisciplinary projects, Dr. Wang’s research on interactivity and engagement on websites and social media help with the usability design and assessment of the technology development. And her research on consumer insight assist in studying users’ needs and perspectives and articulating consumer benefits. Furthermore, her knowledge of a data-driven approach to decision-making help to translate users’ needs and wants into concepts for technology innovations.

Dr. Wang’s publications focus on interactivity and engagement on websites and social media. She has published in leading journals like the Journal of Business ResearchJournal of Health CommunicationJournal of Product and Brand ManagementHealth Education and Behavior, etc.. Dr. Wang has been collaborating with data scientists on the human-AI approach to extracting consumer insights from unstructured text data such as social media content, using computational methods. She was awarded the Research Fellowship of the American Academy of Advertising twice (2017 and 2020). She is a co-PI of NSF’s Open Collaborative Experiential Learning (OCEL.AI) project.

Dr. Wang’s Faculty Website
Google Scholar
Duy Ho photo

Duy Ho
DEVELOPER

Duy Ho is a Doctoral student majoring in Computer Science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has spent 4 years in the Ph.D. program with a primary focus on the integration of Artificial Intelligence in high-impact fields and domains. Duy is one of the primary developers of the SOAR portal and assists in improvements to portal development, programming, interface, and data visualization.

Ahmed Alanazi photo

Ahmed Alanazi
DEVELOPER

Ahmed Alanazi is a Ph.D. candidate, researcher, and graduate teaching assistant in the School of Science and Engineering at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His research interests include Artificial Intelligence, machine/deep learning, human-AI collaboration, human-robot interaction, digital twins, AR/VR, and technology- and disability-enhanced learning. Ahmed is a primary developer of the SOAR portal and assists in improvements to the portal and mobile application development.

Cheng Shu

Cheng Shu
DEVELOPER

Cheng Shu is a doctoral student in Computer Science at the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), with a research focus on deep learning and natural language processing (NLP). He is actively involved in the development of the SOAR backbone, contributing to institutional data loading, visualization, and analytics.

Backbone Support

Dr. Alexis Petri

Dr. Alexis Petri
PORTAL ADVISOR

Dr. Alexis Petri is the Director of the Office of Research Development at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Backbone Lead for the TAPDINTO-STEM Alliance. Dr. Petri serves as an advisor for the SOAR development team to ensure the portal meets the needs of the backbone in supporting the alliance for data collection and performance monitoring, which help contribute to collective impact.
Nichole Stahly photo

Nichole Stahly
PORTAL FACILITATOR

Nichole Stahly is a Communications Specialist for the Office of Research Development at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Backbone Associate for the TAPDINTO-STEM Alliance. Nichole helps to facilitate communication surrounding portal engagement and participation, assists in form design, and coordinates feedback to the devleopment team for proper implementation.

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