The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a team at Indiana Wesleyan University a $623,337 S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grant. This is the largest NSF grant in IWU’s history and one that will impact the institution in the academic areas of physics, chemistry, and biology. Only 100 proposals were funded out of 420 proposals from across the country.

Led by Physics Endowed Chair Dr. Roberto Ramos and Biology Professor Dr. Matt Kreitzer, the team submitted a proposal to provide scholarships to 18 academically talented and financially needy STEM undergraduate students over four years. While the scholarships are open to all eligible applicants, special effort will be made to attract and recruit from minorities, women, and under-represented groups in the Greater Grant (IN) County area.

According to the project proposal, the grant will aid in improving STEM programs and resources at IWU. Scholars will experience a specialized STEM student orientation, extensive faculty mentoring and peer tutoring, quality research experiences, student lunches with local STEM employers, and a “boot camp” after students’ first academic year to introduce them to key components of a successful science career path.

“This project will enhance the quality and quantity of STEM undergraduates at IWU and has the potential to be highly-transformative in increasing the diversity of IWU’s STEM student community. It will impact the local community as well,” said Ramos.

The four-year award starts Sept. 1, 2015 and will continue through Aug. 31, 2020.