National grant will help science, engineering students

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Science and engineering students entering their last two years at Grand Valley State University may be eligible to receive assistance through a National Science Foundation grant that will allow the university to provide scholarships.

The $600,000 grant supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholarships (S-STEM), a program for students who have high financial need in the science and engineering fields. The grant was awarded to Jann Joseph, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Paul Plotkowski, dean of the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing.

Plotkowski explained that the grant will build upon the success of the NSF S-STEM grant the university was awarded in 2006. “Ninety-five percent of students who were supported by the previous S-STEM program have successfully graduated,” he said.

New to the grant will be the ability to include and support transfer students from community colleges. Joseph said Grand Valley will work with Grand Rapids Community College to award scholarships to transfer students.

“Increasing the number of graduates from programs in engineering and the sciences is essential to the economic vitality of Michigan and the nation,” said Plotkowski. “This grant will help support high-need and high-talent students in science and engineering fields to complete their degrees in a timely manner.”

Joseph said students can apply for a STEM scholarship this fall and winter. “The scholarship supports not just tuition, but provides funds for research experiences with faculty mentors, and opportunities for recipients to present their work at regional and national professional meetings,” she said.

For more information, contact News and Information Services at (616) 331-2221.