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UNG secures $600,000 grant to support STEM scholarship

STEM grant fall 2015
The grant will aid 24 UNG students in pursuing bachelor's degrees in STEM fields with potentially more than $20,000 of financial support per student over five years.

The College of Science & Mathematics at the University of North Georgia (UNG) has received a federal grant for nearly $615,000 to support students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The grant will provide annual, competitive scholarships of $4,362 to 24 talented, full-time freshmen who do not have their financial needs met through traditional financial aid. Twelve scholarships will be awarded to students on UNG's Dahlonega Campus and 12 to students on UNG's Gainesville Campus. Students on the Gainesville Campus can complete a four-year degree in biology or mathematics, but if they wish to complete a four-year degree in other STEM disciplines they must transfer to the Dahlonega Campus.

"This two-prong approach will provide financial support to help students from our Gainesville Campus complete their STEM degrees through UNG and help students on both our Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses spend more time focused on their academics," said Dr. Mike Bodri, dean of UNG's College of Science & Mathematics, who wrote the grant along with Charles Wood, associate director of grants and contracts, Dr. Natalie Hyslop, associate professor of biology, and Dr. John Holliday, associate professor of mathematics.

The project is aligned with UNG's strategic plan through its promotion of student success with academic and student support programming and resources. This fall, a committee will select 24 students to receive the scholarship each year to degree completion, for a maximum of five years. The students must be first-time freshmen, and their selection will based on academic ability, financial need and full-time enrollment in eligible STEM programs. Hyslop and Holliday will facilitate the grant.

The grant is part of the National Science Foundation's Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) project, which aims to increase the STEM workforce by recruiting and supporting academically talented, low-income students through degree completion, and partnering with employers to facilitate job placement.

"This project and the award represent the National Science Foundation's acknowledgment of the involved faculty and UNG's commitment to successful undergraduate education," said Dr. Andy Novobilski, associate provost for research and engagement and chief research officer at UNG. "Mike, Natalie and John have worked hard to provide UNG students who have demonstrated academic potential with scholarship support to focus on their studies."

The remainder of the grant funds will provide support for three other related objectives during the five-year period:

  • Create supportive environments to encourage students to stay through degree completion
  • Improve student support programs through faculty mentoring, peer mentoring, academic workshops, tutoring, an early alert system, counseling, disciplinary activities, undergraduate research experiences, and participation in professional meetings
  • Draw in industry partners who will provide guest lecturers, site visits, special activities, and internship and placement opportunities in STEM occupations

The award was received July 15 and will end June 30, 2020.

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