Key Perspectives on Building Data for Social Impact Capacity in Higher Ed

December 14, 2023 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm GMT / 8:30pm IST
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In early 2022, made possible by generous funding from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, launched the Capacity Accelerator Network (CAN) in the United States. The grant included a funding award to The University of Chicago (UChicago) Data Science Institute (DSI) to support the creation of a consortium of diverse higher education partners, including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs).

In partnership with UChicago,’s US CAN Accelerator included: California State University, Fresno; City Colleges of Chicago; Howard University; Morehouse College; North Carolina State University; The University of Illinois at Chicago; and University of Texas, San Antonio. Together, this Accelerator set out to create open curricula tools, and a model for experiential data science education with an emphasis on financial inclusion that could scale across diverse higher education institutions across the globe.

Now, on December 14, Dr. Mario Banuelos of Fresno State, Kate Connor of City Colleges of Chicago, Dr. David Uminsky of the University of Chicago, and Dr. Amy Yeboah Quarkume of Howard University will join’s Priyank Hirani to reflect on learnings from the two-year Data Capacity Accelerator. Join us to hear from university faculty on the frontier of building data for social impact in higher education on topics including developing DSI and experiential learning programs, applying a social justice and financial inclusion lens to DSI training, building a playbook for creating experiential data science curricula, and the critical underpinning of IDEA in their work.

Amy Yeboah Quarkume, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Studies for the Master's Program in Applied Data Science

Howard University

Dr. Amy Yeboah Quarkume, affectionately known as Dr. A, is a daughter of Africa, a scholar, filmmaker, data scientist, and Associate Professor of Africana Studies in the Department of Afro-American Studies at Howard University. She holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies, two Master’s degrees in Sociology and African American…

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David Uminsky, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Data Science Institute

The University of Chicago

David Uminsky joined the University of Chicago in September 2020 as a senior research associate and Executive Director of the Data Science Institute. He was previously an associate professor of Mathematics and Executive Director of the Data Institute at the University of San Francisco (USF). His research interests are in…

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Kate Connor

Professor and Aspen Rising President Fellow

Truman College, City Colleges of Chicago

Kate Connor has dedicated the last 18 years of her professional life to working in and advocating for community colleges, students, and communities. Her roots in teaching and learning run deep, with a wide breadth of leadership experience, including Department Chair, Dean, and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Truman…

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Mario Bañuelos, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

California State University, Fresno

Mario Bañuelos, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Mathematics at California State University, Fresno. Originally from the small agricultural town of Delano, California, Mario is a first-generation college student. He earned his B.A. in Mathematics from California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), and obtained his Ph.D. in…

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