Marian University has received a $648,845 Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund the STEM Round Table Scholars program, which will provide scholarships (renewable for up to four years of a student’s degree plan), support for underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and a community to develop skills and provide support.
The S-STEM program addresses the need for a high-quality STEM workforce in areas of national priorities and seeks to increase and understand the success of low-income, academically talented students with demonstrated financial need who are pursuing associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degrees in STEM.
“This is most certainly an exciting new opportunity for Marian University to advance its mission to serve underrepresented, diverse students in STEM and to develop its vision for an outstanding research and grants culture,” said Alan Silva, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost. “This is an especially noteworthy award as it will foster a new relationship with the National Science Foundation. It has been 25 years since our last NSF grant and our largest award ever was $30,000.”
The STEM Round Table Scholars will participate in activities that build relationships with their peers, engage with the idea of developing their identity as scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, and explore the concepts of ethics in research activities. The program will also utilize the Walker Center for Applied Ethics and the Center for Academic Success and Engagement to support the growth and development of scholarship recipients both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.
In addition to academic content, Round Table Scholars will engage with local alumni and workforce partners to help participants grow relationships that will help them thrive beyond their undergraduate experience.
“I am incredibly excited about the opportunities this grant will offer our STEM majors in the years to come,” said Chris Nicholson, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physical Sciences. “In addition to supporting students in the pursuit of their career dreams, this project will allow us to focus on some of the truly Marian aspects of modern STEM education. These include helping students develop an identity as practitioners of scientific disciplines and understanding the role of ethics in every aspect of scientific study. All around us we see the legacy of unethical practices in science, and in collaboration with the Walker Center for Applied Ethics, we look forward to helping develop scientists who understand the social and ethical implications of their work.”
Applications for the STEM Round Table Scholars program will be available shortly with the first cohort beginning in Fall 2021.