University receives NSF grant for science scholarships

Shippensburg University will use a National Science Foundation grant to provide scholarships to recruit and retain students in the science, engineering, technology and mathematics fields. 

The $586,500 grant will support the Shippensburg University Scholarships for Educational Achievement in STEM (Ship-SEA- STEM) program that continues to Aug. 31, 2017. 

According to Dr. Barbara Lyman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, “I am convinced that Shippensburg University was successful in being awarded this NSF grant not only because of the competitiveness of the proposal by the stellar faculty leading this initiative but also because this grant builds on a strong foundation of quality STEM programs and high impact educational practices already in place at this university.” 

The program is led by Dr. Marcie Baer-Lehman, associate professor of biology, who will serve as lead investigator along with Dr. Sherri Bergsten, associate professor of biology; Dr. Benjamin J. Galluzzo, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. Robin McCann, associate professor of chemistry; and Dr. Christopher J. Woltemade, professor of geography-earth science. 

Ship-SEA- STEM will recruit academically talented students from economically disadvantaged and under- represented populations, including first generation college students, students from rural populations and minority populations, retain those students and increase student diversity in STEM disciplines.  

The program will provide a minimum of 37 selected scholars with a comprehensive suite of financial assistance, support services, internship placements, and research opportunities beginning with the Fall 2013 semester. Each participant will receive a Ship-SEA-STEM scholarship up to $3,750 per year along with other financial support such as a Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors’ scholarship.  

Applicants will be screened based on full time enrollment in a participating STEM major, graduation from an accredited high school, SAT performance, class rank, GPA and demonstrated financial need. A core writing course and workshops will be designed specifically for Ship-SEA-STEM students in conjunction with career, academic, advising, tutoring and informational support services already available on campus. 

The program will also use mentor/scholar interactions to meet its goal of attractingand retaining underrepresented populations within the STEM disciplines. Using various team-building experiences such as a targeted scientific writing course, workshops, retreats,research and internships, Ship- SEA-STEM strives to increase motivation, enhance self-esteem, encourage learning, teach students how to problem solve, collaborate,and develop professional relationships.