Five-year, Federal-funded grant to underwrite scholarships and bolster STEM curricula
BALTIMORE — Morgan State University (MSU) has received an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of an effort to implement strategies and advance curricula designed to increase the number of undergraduates with degrees across the highly critical fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Spanning five years, the $999,531 federal grant will encompass a multidisciplinary approach to meeting specific demands related to development and retention of students advancing into STEM-related careers—both in practice and as future educators.
The NSF grant was awarded by the Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) and its Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Program (S-STEM) will be administered through MSU’s School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (SCMNS) for the “Fostering Undergraduate STEM Excellence – FUSE” program. Under the provisions, the nearly $1 million in educational aid will provide 30 undergraduate scholarships, establish mentorship programs and personalized development plans for MSU students, and further enrich the School’s STEM curricula by fostering innovation in developing new practices and modernizing pedagogy practiced among educators.
“As Maryland’s leading producer of minorities in STEM fields, Morgan is pleased to receive this nearly $1-million investment from the National Science Foundation into the preparation and future of our students,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “With our current classification as a high-research university, Morgan is presently putting in place a comprehensive model that is solely focused on advancing the University’s position to become the next Research 1 classified institution in the state of Maryland. Grants of this type, from the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies, will certainly assist us in attaining the very achievable goal; and in doing so, Morgan will be in a more strategic position to respond to many intractable challenges facing the City of Baltimore and urban centers throughout our region.”
Angela Winstead, Ph.D., department chair and professor of Chemistry in SCMNS, spearheaded the effort to secure the NSF DUE award and will serve as the grant’s principal investigator. This NSF award is the latest federally funded grant to provide support for STEM programs at Morgan. Recently, the School of Computers, Mathematics and Natural Sciences announced the award of $1.2 million in federal science and technology grants to further its efforts in STEM research.
“The award of this S-STEM grant is meaningful, as it will allow us [Morgan State University] to make an impact within the African-American community by providing access to majors and careers that are traditionally underrepresented,” said Dr. Winstead. “It is through diversity in science and math careers that we can address issues important to our diverse communities and be a catalyst for advancement through bona fide career pathways.”
In addition to scholarships and curriculum development support, the NSF S-STEM grant will largely provide integral workforce preparedness among students matriculating through Morgan’s STEM programs. Industry verticals within STEM continue to lag with regard to diversity—particularly among minorities and women. The newly awarded NSF grant aims to raise the technological, quantitative and literacy of graduates and foster next-generation STEM professionals.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 126 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.