TWU Receives Nearly $1M Grant to Bolster Education in STEM Fields

The National Science Foundation grant will back the Scholarships, Teams and Research (TWU STAR) project aimed at increasing undergraduate engagement, retention, and graduation in STEM-related fields.

Texas Woman’s University in Denton has been awarded a five-year, $999,794 grant by The National Science Foundation to support scholarships and projects boosting the number of students and graduates in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The grant is expected to support the Scholarships, Teams and Research (TWU STAR) project, which proposes a three-part approach to bring more students into the biology, biochemistry, chemistry, informatics (a branch of information engineering), mathematics, and computer science programs at TWU.

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The three TWU STAR initiatives include granting scholarships to 15 students each year, encouraging students through mentorship and co-curricular activities, and looking into the factors leading to increased engagement.

TWU STAR focuses not only on increasing participation within the TWU community, but also in the higher education community at large, according to a statement.

“Our findings will be disseminated externally through publications, presentations and datasets, significantly impacting the existing knowledge base on STEM engagement,” Diana Elrod, Ph.D., said in the statement. “However, the true transformative promise of the program will come from the scholars themselves, who will represent TWU, their communities, and their academic disciplines as they enter the workforce or pursue graduate study.”

TWU STAR is directed by Elrod along with other TWU faculty members Karen Dunlap, Ed.D., professor of teacher education; Robby A. Petros, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry; and David M. Gardner, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and computer science.

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