Dr. Corey Welch

Director of STEM Scholars Program


Dept:Liberal Arts & Sciences Administration
Office:133 Catt
2224 Osborn Dr
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, some hard work, and a lot of fun. My formal biology training is in ecology and evolution with an emphasis on population biology 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) 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/lecturer at the LP-SLI hosted by AAAS in Washington DC and in 2018, will be a facilitator for the ALI. SACNAS Leadership Programs. In 2016, I was elected for a 3-year term on the Board of Directors of SACNAS and serve as the Secretary-elect.

. In April 2018, I spoke at the March For Science in Washington D.C. Link to video: March For Science 2018

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 member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.