National Science Foundation Awards the College More Than $600K for STEM Student Scholarships and Programs

Saint Mary’s College has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant, the largest from the organization in the College’s history, to provide scholarship support for low-income students and enrichment programming for students majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program award is $613,477 over five years to help support full-tuition scholarships and robust student support and mentoring services. The program will help recruit and enroll 24 academically talented, financially needy students into undergraduate programs in chemistry, biochemistry, physics and mathematics. In addition, the College will provide career placement services to better prepare these students to enter the STEM workforce or attend graduate school in STEM fields upon graduation from Saint Mary’s. The program, titled “Mentored Access to Programs in Science,” or MAPS, will be led by Professor and Math Department Chair Chris Jones. The first MAPS program students will receive awards this fall.

“Securing scholarship funding through the NSF’s S-STEM program is a significant milestone for the College,” Roy Wensley, dean of the School of Science, said. “These funds will allow us to attract the best and brightest math and science students regardless of their financial need and help the College to fulfill its Lasallian mission.”

The S-STEM program provides institutions with funds for student scholarships to encourage and enable academically talented students demonstrating financial need to enter the STEM workforce or STEM graduate school following completion of an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. The program was established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in accordance with the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998, which reflects the national need to increase substantially the number of American scientists and engineers.