Saint Augustine’s University was awarded a four-year grant for $600,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU UP) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) initiative. The grant will help relieve the financial burden of students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Dr. Mark A. Melton, dean of the School of Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering, will serve as the principal investigator. Dr. Doreen Cunningham, chair of the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences and Professor Alieu Wurie, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Engineering, will serve as co-principal investigators.
According to Melton, the grant will also help S-STEM participants expand their capacity to engage in research at Saint Augustine’s University and abroad.
“This project aims to attract, support and retain highly talented students at Saint Augustine’s University in interrelated majors with an emphasis in STEM,” Melton said. “This project will advance the mission of the university through degree programs that increase student interest resulting in greater participation of African-American students in sciences.”
The program goals are to achieve full retention of talented but financially disadvantaged undergraduates majoring in the sciences, while significantly reducing their time to graduation; and increase the number of underrepresented minorities, who elect and are well-prepared to pursue advanced degrees in the sciences and pursue educational, leadership and managerial roles in STEM fields. The project targets 30 full-time Saint Augustine’s University students majoring in one of the following STEM disciplines: biology, chemistry, forensic science, engineering mathematics, mathematics, and computer science.
A rich array of opportunities will be available to the scholarship recipients including science seminar series, tutoring sessions, summer internship opportunities at on-campus and off-campus laboratories, participation in service learning activities, field trips, faculty-student collaborative research, attendance at conferences, alumni mentoring and comprehensive career counseling.
Saint Augustine’s University was also awarded a two-year grant for $200,000 from the NSF Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program Research Initiation. The grant will help expose students to ‘cutting-edge’ bench research beyond summer internships, better prepare students for the rigors of graduate studies and increase the number of underrepresented minorities that elect to pursue advanced degrees and careers in the STEM fields.