Source: UNH Manchester News
UNH Manchester received a $599,821 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund the UNH Manchester Scholars in Science and Technology Program.
The program joins the state-wide efforts to encourage more students to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree programs and professional fields. “UNH Manchester students share a large diversity of academic preparedness, life experiences, and cultural backgrounds,” says Mihaela Sabin, associate professor of computer information systems and principal investigator of the grant. “A majority of our students have financial need (67%), almost all of those studying full time have jobs, and may raise families. To address these unavoidable constraints on their education experience, the UNH Manchester Scholarships in Science and Technology program creates learning opportunities whose key features are inclusiveness, interdisciplinary, mentorship, and community engagement.”
The program provides scholarship and academic support for students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, computer information systems, and engineering technology in the Division of Science and Technology at UNH Manchester. Starting in fall 2010, the five-year grant program will award 112 annual scholarships to eligible candidates who have demonstrated financial need. First consideration is given to students from under-represented groups in STEM disciplines. The awards are renewable annually until the recipient graduates.
Student scholars at the same class level co-register in one course every semester. These courses will enable students to achieve competencies for problem-solving; time and project management; understanding and application of research methods; peer-led teamwork; effective communication with peers, faculty, and external audiences; peer tutoring and mentorship; understanding of social identity; and cultivating respect across cultures. Margaret Pobywajlo, Director of the Center for Academic Enrichment explains, “The cohort classes will facilitate the development of learning communities which research shows are important to student commitment, satisfaction with the collegiate experience, academic performance, and retention.”
The program is a concerted effort built on the expertise and successful practices across the participating academic programs and many other units and programs on the UNH Manchester campus. This includes the offices of admissions, financial aid, and student advising; support structures and services offered by the Center for Academic Enrichment, College Transition Program and College Transition Program for ESOL Students; and First Year Experience, internship, and community outreach scholarship programs. The grant’s senior personnel include the co-PIs Dr. Margaret Pobywajlo, director of the Center for Academic Enrichment, Dr. Sarah Prescott Kenick, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Ruth Varner, research associate professor in the Complex Systems Research Center, Institute for Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, and jointly appointed in the Department of Earth Sciences, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
To learn more about the program, contact Professor Mihaela Sabin at email@example.com.