Division of Science and Mathematics receives nearly $500,000 from National Science Foundation
The Division of Science and Mathematics received a grant from the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program) initiative at the National Science Foundation in August. The funding will amount to $498,000 over five years.
The primary goals of the grant program, titled "Expanding our Nation’s STEM Talent Base: A Strategic Plan at the University of St. Thomas," are:
- To attract precollege students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics degree programs at St. Thomas
- Increase the ethnic diversity of science, technology, engineering and mathematics students, and
- Enhance the retention of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs by improving the quality of these programs in significant ways.
Specific programmatic initiatives include:
- A new Summer Academy for 20 incoming freshmen each year for five years, designed to provide students – especially women and students of color – with enhanced math and science background through coursework in an integrated calculus course and associated science labs
- A variety of academic, social and career-oriented programming designed to foster community among science, technology, engineering and mathematics students and St. Thomas faculty
- Two new interdisciplinary January Term courses that introduce students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics research, internships and careers, and
- Faculty development workshops on topics such as integrating math into science courses, learning styles, transfer of learning, team teaching, and developing minority connections and community.
The project will be directed by Sue Chaplin, Biology Department, and a committee of representatives from each of the division’s science and math departments:
- Chester Wilson, biology
- Lynn Hartshorn, chemistry
- Kevin Theissen, geology
- Tom Tommet, physics
- Cheri Shakiban, math
- Carole Bagley, quantitative methods and computer science, and
- Chris Greene, engineering.