Corey Welch, PhD

Director/Founder: STEM Scholars Program


Dept:Liberal Arts & Sciences Administration
Office:Student Innovation Center
606 Bissell Rd
Ames IA


Dr. Corey Welch is Director of the STEM Scholars Program at Iowa State University. He arrived in Ames in January 2015 to establish a new Science training program serving underrepresented students. His career goal is to diversify who succeeds in science, thereby benefiting both STEM disciplines and our larger society. I grew up in a trailer park in Billings, Montana, am a proud member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, and a first generation college graduate whom was inspired to pursue a career in biology after spending a significant part of my childhood bouncing around in my grandfather’s pickup truck on the red-dirt roads of the Northern Cheyenne reservation. I was a naïve, shy college sophomore with no idea what graduate school was or how to get into science. Through mentors and NSF summer research training opportunities and the support of my family, I learned about the pathways to a Biology PhD, including that you got paid! My academic path through undergraduate and graduate degrees had many bumps along the road, mistakes, luck, hard work, and a lot of fun. My formal biology training is in ecology and evolution with an emphasis on population ecology and genetics of birds and mammals. Previously, I taught biology courses for several years at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS. Prior to coming to Iowa State, I was the Research Program Coordinator for a large (~500 students, 3500 alumni) biological sciences program: the Biology Scholars Program at UC Berkeley 2011-2014 where I coordinated a variety of different research training programs funded by HHMI and NIH grants. Lastly, I have been professionally involved with the National Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native American Scientists (SACNAS). I attended my first conference in 1998 and several years later, I was recruited to the University of Washington through meeting my PhD co-advisor at the SACNAS Conference. In 2012, I participated in the Linton-Poodry and Advanced SACNAS Leadership Institutes (LP-SLI and ALI) and subsequently, developed the framework of what has become the STEM Scholars Program. Since 2016, I have served as a facilitator at the LP-SLI hosted by AAAS in Washington DC and am the co-creator/facilitator of the Postdoc Leadership Institute (2019-present): SACNAS Leadership Programs. From 2016-2021, I served on the National Board of Directors of SACNAS and have served on the Executive Committee for 2+ years. I frequently give public talks, departmental seminars, or presentations at National Conferences on ways to diversifying STEM fields from the undergraduate to the professoriate. In April 2018, I spoke at the March For Science in Washington D.C. where I experienced my first (and only) heckling from two individuals who we failed to properly educate about the sciences! Link to video: March For Science 2018 Lewis & Clark College, BS Biology University of Kansas, MA Systematics & Ecology University of Washington, PhD Zoology You can follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter: @CoreyWelch_STEM As of 2015, I provide an annual Northern Cheyenne Tribal Scholarship. Go to Sharon Farr Welch Northern Cheyenne Tribal Scholarship. Must be a enrolled college student and enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.