The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $650,000 Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant to OLLU, which will directly benefit students throughout the next five years.
The project, titled Growing a Network for Aspiring Scholars (GANAS), will support two cohorts of 10 STEM undergraduates majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Math, Biomathematics and/or Computer Information Systems and Security. Students will receive $5,000 each year for four years.
The first cohort starts this year. The second cohort begins in the 2022-2023 academic year. The NSF S-STEM grant provides $450,000 for student scholarships and $200,000 for support activities, which include travel for GANAS Scholars to present research at professional society meetings and conferences.
“I am really excited,” said Teresita Munguia, PhD, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Principal Investigator for this project. “This has been the culmination of several years of work on this grant. With scholarship money and support activities, such as family integration, mentoring and STEM learning communities, the GANAS Scholarship program will impact students by improving retention in STEM fields and enhancing STEM career readiness.”
Vanessa Clark, PhD, Co-Principal Investigator for the project, echoed her colleague’s excitement. “I am thrilled to be a part of this project and work hand-in-hand with other STEM departments across campus,” said Clark, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems and Security. “This project is proof of the exciting benefits that interdisciplinary collaboration within our institution can bring to our students.”
Students will be recruited primarily from local high schools with concentrated poverty. GANAS scholars will be selected based on academic merit, a personal essay, an interview and community/extracurricular involvement.
The goal of the GANAS project is to increase STEM degree completion and increase career readiness of low-income, academically talented undergraduates with demonstrated financial need. Through scholarly research, GANAS seeks to help students bridge the divide between home/community and academia through early and ongoing inclusion of families, which has not been rigorously evaluated for Latin students in the current literature.
This is the first grant OLLU has received directly from NSF in 16 years.