Allegheny College received a grant of $ 1,400,294 from the National Science Foundation under the S-STEM program (scholarships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The grant will provide scholarships and programmatic support for academic and extracurricular mentoring to 24 academically gifted low-income students.
“We are very grateful for the support of the National Science Foundation through the S-STEM program,” said Allegheny President Hilary Link. “This prestigious grant builds on Allegheny College’s nationally recognized multidisciplinary approach to education and the college’s long-standing commitment to access and affordability for students from all walks of life. ”
According to the National Science Foundation, the main goal of the S-STEM program is to enable talented, low-income domestic students to pursue successful careers in promising STEM fields. Ultimately, the S-STEM program seeks to increase the number of low-income students who graduate and contribute to America’s innovation economy with their STEM knowledge.
Students will be selected for the S-STEM Scholar program at Allegheny College based on their interest in STEM fields, academic potential, and financial need. The program is designed to provide students with holistic support and resources to increase their sense of belonging in STEM fields and positively influence their academic performance and career choices.
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chair of Biochemistry Ivelitza Garcia is the project’s principal investigator, Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Lauren French is the Co-Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor of Psychology Jennifer Foreman is the Social Sciences Expert.
“Under-represented, low-income students demonstrate the same level of interest in STEM as their peers, but are leaving these fields at higher rates,” Garcia said. “The S-STEM program seeks to remove barriers that can erode student interest and success in STEM courses, prepare students for academic rigor, and foster personal, academic, and professional mentoring relationships.”
The S-STEM Scholars program will complement existing academic and extracurricular resources offered at Allegheny College. Students selected for the program will receive additional support as a cohort in introductory level STEM courses and participate in early engagement with faculty research. They will also benefit from frequent mentoring opportunities with faculty, alumni and other STEM students. In addition, S-STEM fellows will link with other support systems across the college, including staff from the Maytum Center for Student Success, Office of Financial Aid, Office of Professional Education, and of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“Allegheny College’s S-STEM scholarship program emphasizes a holistic approach to diversify the range of students interested in STEM,” French said. “The program will offer promising young people financial assistance as well as academic and moral support in the development of their identity and their engagement in scientific fields.
As part of the six-year project, project leaders will study the effectiveness of the S-STEM initiative in meeting the needs of participating students and sharing the results with other institutions.
“Our goal is for S-STEM graduates to be ready to serve as leaders in increasingly global and inclusive work environments,” Garcia said.
A total of 100 percent of the project cost of $ 1,400,294 will be met by federal funds through the National Science Foundation grant.