The Amarillo Pioneer

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WTAMU Receives STEM Grant

"The National Science Foundation has awarded West Texas A&M University a $999,994 National Science Award for “Teaming Engineering and Mathematics Students for the Future,” a project focused on the retention and graduation of a specialized population of learners in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The award begins Sept. 15 and will run through Aug. 31, 2022.

“The NSF award is a highly competitive and coveted award, one which will allow WTAMU to establish effective evidence-based practices and to investigate the effects of those practices so as to assist students with degree attainment and workforce transfer,” Dr. Angela Spaulding, vice president for research and compliance and dean of Graduate School, said. “The award recognizes the quality of the proposal produced by an exceptional WT team.”

The award will be administered under the direction of WTAMU faculty member Dr. Oliver Mulamba, principal investigator and assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and the team of co-principal investigators, Dr. Emily Hunt, dean of the School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, Dr. Pam Lockwood, associate dean for the School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, and Dr. Anitha Subburaj, assistant professor of electrical engineering.

“Teaming Engineering and Mathematics Students for the Future (TEAMSF)” is a program designed to bolster the retention and graduation rates of four cohorts of engineering and mathematics students. The students will represent three underrepresented and/or disadvantaged populations—rural, economically disadvantaged students; minority, predominately Hispanic students; and first-generation college students. At least 25 scholarships per year will be available through the program for entering freshmen.

Mulamba and his team plan to enhance and promote social growth and academic success through very specific activities including peer-led team learning and establishing learning communities for students. TEAMSF will work with preexisting WTAMU programs like experiential learning, career counseling and workforce exposure to help support and drive the success of these students and continued interest in the STEM fields.

“It is no longer sufficient to get underrepresented students into our programs, the responsibility deepens to assisting and guiding their growth toward graduation and successful careers,” Mulamba said. “This award will impact the individuals, our community and our institution as a whole. We hope and aim to create a culture of success and leadership through service, for it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive.'"

-West Texas A&M University

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