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College of Saint Elizabeth Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Help Underrepresented Populations Pursue Biology

Morristown, NJ, October 6, 2017 — The College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE) is one of six collaborating higher education institutions awarded a $4.4 million National Science Foundation S-STEM Grant to help traditionally underrepresented populations of undergraduate students to pursue and succeed in the field of biology.

Sixty percent of the funding is for student scholarships, and forty percent will enhance academic programming and advising support.  The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Scholars Program will begin in January 2018 for a five-year period.

The collaborating institutions are members of the Yes We Must Coalition, of which CSE is a founding member.

Other participating members are Coker College, Mercy College, Ferrum College, Keuka College, and Thomas University. Each of these institutions have a mission rooted in educating and ensuring the success of those who have long been underrepresented in higher education.

The Yes We Must Coalition (YWMC) is a non-profit organization that brings together 35 non-profit private colleges and universities across the country that are dedicated to effectively serving low-income students.

“We are proud to receive this very prestigious National Science Foundation award,” said Dr. Helen J. Streubert. “It speaks to our commitment to science education, and will allow us to give our students significant scholarship support, upper-level summer science research opportunities, intensive mentoring and a summer jump start program.”

The major objective of the STEM Scholars Program is to strengthen STEM literacy and critical thinking, develop a sense of belonging to a community of emerging STEM professionals and increase students’ belief in their ability to succeed as scientists.

It will also more broadly contribute new information to an otherwise limited knowledge base regarding diverse STEM students.

“This substantive grant is going to make a tremendous difference for some of our students, and it will help us to continue to enhance the quality of our science programs,” says Anthony Santamaria, dean for the School of Arts and Sciences at CSE.

“We are incredibly grateful to the National Science Foundation for awarding it, and for providing us with valuable feedback,” Santamaria said.  “It was a genuine honor and privilege to work with the other five institutions on the proposal, and we look forward to our ongoing collaboration. This is very exciting!”