Alverno awarded $1 million grant to encourage more women into STEM careers

National Science Foundation grant will provide scholarships for STEM majors

Angela Frey, the New Futures in Science and Math Program principal investigator, working with Alverno students.

Last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 05:57 am

Alverno College has been awarded a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support a new program aimed at helping low-income women graduate with STEM degrees.

Angela Frey, the New Futures in Science and Math Program principal investigator, working with Alverno students.

The grant will support Alverno’s New Futures in Science and Math Program, which aims to increase student retention and graduation through advising, mentoring, tutoring and professional development.

Most of the $974,698 grant will be directed toward financial assistance, with $700,000 over five years supporting scholarships. Each year, up to 35 students will receive $3,000 to $10,000 based on financial need.

“In addition to financial support, this grant promotes the success of women in STEM by designing collaborative learning and building peer support within a larger STEM learning community,” said Angela Frey, chair of Alverno’s STEM program and a professor of biology. “This will benefit not only students in STEM, but all of our students.”

The program supports the college’s efforts to recruit more first-year women into STEM majors by offering financial assistance, developing a cohort of students who interact with STEM faculty and participate in community-building activities, and providing professional development opportunities. The program also allows the college to research the correlation between the volume and type of participation and the retention and graduation of STEM majors.

“This grant allows us to continue the essential work of developing strong women leaders in STEM fields, where women have long been underrepresented,” said Scott Zeman, vice president of academic affairs.

Since 2011, Alverno has offered applied science and math classes to local high school girls through its Girls’ Academy of Science and Mathematics. Students who participate in the academy will serve as a pipeline of prospective candidates for the New Futures in Science and Mathematics Program.

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