HomeAchievementsSouthern Celebrates $3.2 Million NSF Grant to Supercharge STEM Diversity

Southern Celebrates $3.2 Million NSF Grant to Supercharge STEM Diversity

Southern Connecticut State University celebrated the acquisition of a prestigious five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) on Thursday, Jan. 25. The grant, part of the renowned Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, aims to recruit, retain, and graduate students currently underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.The ceremony marked a significant milestone for Southern as the lead institution for the Nutmeg State LSAMP.

“The goal of this $3.2M award is to recruit and retain and move to timely graduation underrepresented students who will enter STEM disciplines,” emphasized Robert Prezant, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Southern. Prezant, drawing on his deep experience, highlighted the success of the LSAMP program nationally, stating, “I know first-hand many LSAMP student scholars who went on to earn their doctorates and are successfully embedded in STEM careers.”

SCSU Interim President Dwayne Smith expressed the significance of the award, stating, “This award is indeed a triumph for our system, as it is the largest LSAMP grant in the state, and the product of a wonderful collaboration between Southern and our sister CSU institutions.” Smith further highlighted the excitement regarding the new partnership, saying, “As the lead institution for this effort, we are very excited that this new partnership will open so many doors for diverse scholars to continue in the STEM fields.”

Distinguished speakers who delivered remarks at the event included:

  • Terrence Cheng, chancellor of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
  • Dwayne Smith, interim president of Southern Connecticut State University
  • LeRoy Jones II, program director in the Division of Equity for Excellence in STEM at the National Science Foundation
  • Therese Bennett, SCSU professor of mathematics and SCSU Principal Investigator
  • Klay Kruczek, SCSU assistant chair and professor of mathematics, SCSU Principal Investigator
  • Kim Ward, professor and Math Foundations Program coordinator at Eastern Connecticut State University, representing CSU
  • Manuel Gomez, chief executive officer of Housatonic Community College
  • Robin Avant, campus dean of students and faculty at Housatonic Community College

Program results will be shared with feeder community colleges and high schools to better inform and prepare students for undergraduate STEM programs. Deb Risisky, professor of public health at Southern, will lead the grant’s evaluation, overseeing the analysis and reporting of data for all four CSU campuses.

Read the article in WTNH: “Connecticut State Universities and Colleges get $3.2M award to help get minorities into STEM field.” (By Kent Pierce, Jan. 25, 2024).


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