Representative John Carter (TX-31) and Southwestern University President Laura Skandera Trombley have announced that the University has received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help attract, retain, and graduate students with high financial need who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Professor of Chemistry Emily Niemeyer will serve as principal investigator for the six-year project, titled “Equipped for Success: Science Identity, Community, and Engagement to Promote STEM Student Persistence.” 

“Southwestern University encourages its students to be active participants in the creation of new knowledge, which will be made possible by this award,” said Representative Carter. “This funding will allow the students of today to be the creators, scientists, and researchers of tomorrow, and I am excited to see the innovation that will take place right here in TX-31.” 

“Southwestern has long been recognized for academic excellence and we are committed to a culture of diversity, inclusion, belonging, and equity,” President Trombley said. “This grant will better support our students in pursuing their dreams and it will fuel future innovation and research excellence.”

The project will support 25 low-income students pursuing science and math degrees at Southwestern. S-STEM Scholars will be recruited as incoming first-year students and receive $7,500 or $10,000 annual scholarships that are renewable for up to four years. The grant will also provide a range of programming to holistically promote the success of these students from matriculation through graduation. For example, S-STEM Scholars will participate in Southwestern’s EQUIP pre-matriculation summer program, and support is also provided for funded internships, faculty mentoring, undergraduate research experiences, and intercultural learning.

“I am incredibly excited that we were chosen to receive this grant from the National Science Foundation,” Niemeyer said. “This project builds on the outstanding educational experience we currently offer at Southwestern while providing new opportunities to better support the success of low-income and underrepresented students within STEM disciplines.”