Texas Woman’s STEM project awarded $2 million grant

April 22, 2020 — DENTON — A team of Texas Woman’s University faculty have been awarded $2,448,091 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund a project aimed at improving retention and graduation rates for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

The project, titled TWU-Partnerships, Research, Innovation, Mentoring and Engagement Program (TWU-PRIME), specifically seeks to increase engagement from student populations typically underrepresented in STEM fields that are well-represented at TWU, a Hispanic-Serving Institution primarily for women.

Faculty and students participating in TWU-PRIME will benefit from redesigned course offerings emphasizing creativity and complex, real-world challenges as well as mentored research and internship opportunities through industry partnerships with AIT Laboratories, Mentor LLC and the Noble Research Institute.

“Through focused interventions for both faculty and marginalized students, we expect to increase retention and graduation while engaging key partners in the community who will promote career awareness and provide mentorship opportunities,” said Diana Elrod Ph.D., principal investigator for TWU-PRIME, biology lecturer and director of the TWU Center for Student Research.

Co-principal investigators include Karen Dunlap, Ed.D., professor of teacher education; Robby A. Petros, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry; David M. Gardner, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and computer science; and Jörg Waltje, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Faculty Excellence — the same team behind the TWU Scholarships, Teams and Research (TWU STAR) project, which received a $1 million grant from the NSF in 2019.

Elrod projects TWU-PRIME participants will experience similar mentoring, training and development opportunities as TWU-STAR participants. Both projects aim to produce TWU graduates who are highly skilled and ready for the workforce. The investigators will develop and ultimately share innovative, evidence-based and culturally relevant teaching approaches with the broader academic community.

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Anna Ryan

Page last updated 8:20 AM, April 21, 2023