Allegheny College Receives $1.4 Million Grant from National Science Foundation To Provide STEM Scholarships and Mentoring to Academically Talented Low-income Students

Allegheny College has been awarded a grant of $1,400,294 from the National Science Foundation through the S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program. The grant will provide scholarships and programmatic support for academic and co-curricular mentoring to 24 academically talented low-income students.

“We are very grateful for the support of the National Science Foundation through the S-STEM program,” said Allegheny President Hilary L. Link. “This prestigious grant builds on Allegheny College’s nationally recognized, multidisciplinary approach to education and the college’s longstanding commitment to access and affordability for students from a wide range of backgrounds.”

Prof. Ivelitza Garcia, principal investigator for the project
Prof. Ivelitza Garcia, principal investigator for the project

The primary goal of the S-STEM program is to enable low-income, talented domestic students to pursue successful careers in promising STEM fields, according to the National Science Foundation. Ultimately, the S-STEM program seeks to increase the number of low-income students who graduate and contribute to the American innovation economy with their STEM knowledge.

Students will be selected for the S-STEM Scholar program at Allegheny College based on their interest in STEM fields, academic potential and financial need. The program is designed to provide students with holistic support and resources to increase their sense of belonging in STEM fields and positively influence their academic performance and career choices.

Prof. Lauren French, co-principal investigator for the project

Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Chair Ivelitza Garcia is the principal investigator for the project, Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Lauren French is the co-principal investigator, and Assistant Professor of Psychology Jennifer Foreman is the social science expert.

“Underrepresented and low-income students demonstrate the same level of STEM interest as their peers, yet leave those fields at higher rates,” Garcia said. “The S-STEM program seeks to break down barriers that can erode students’ interest and success in STEM courses, prepare students for academic rigor, and foster personal, academic and professional mentoring relationships.”

The S-STEM Scholars program will complement existing academic and co-curricular resources offered at Allegheny College. Students selected for the program will receive additional support as a cohort in introductory-level STEM classes and participate in early engagement with faculty research. They will also benefit from frequent mentoring opportunities with faculty, alumni and other STEM students. In addition, S-STEM Scholars will build connections with other support systems across the college, including staff in the Maytum Center for Student Success, the Office of Financial Aid, the Office of Career Education and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Prof. Jennifer Foreman. social science expert for the project

“The Allegheny College S-STEM Scholars program emphasizes a holistic approach to diversifying the range of students interested in STEM,” French said. “The program will provide promising young people with financial assistance as well as academic and moral support as they develop their identities and engagement in scientific fields.”

As part of the six-year project, the project leaders will study the effectiveness of the S-STEM initiative to address the needs of participating students and share findings with other institutions.

“Our goal is that S-STEM graduates will be poised to serve as leaders in increasingly global and inclusive working environments,” Garcia said.

A total of 100 percent of the project’s cost of $1,400,294 will be covered with federal funds through the National Science Foundation grant.

About the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science; advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and secure national defense. NSF is the only federal agency whose mission supports all fields of fundamental science and engineering disciplines, from mathematics, engineering and geosciences to biological, behavioral and computer sciences.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

About Allegheny College

Allegheny College, founded in 1815, is one of the nation’s oldest and most innovative four-year colleges where multidisciplinary learning breaks the conventional mold. It is one of the few colleges in the United States with a unique requirement to choose both a major and minor for graduation, to provide students with a cross-disciplinary path in the sciences and humanities for educational depth and intellectual growth. Located in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Allegheny College is one of 40 colleges featured in Loren Pope’s “Colleges That Change Lives.” In its 2022 rankings, U.S. News & World Report recognized Allegheny College in its Top 20 Schools for Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects and the Top 25 Most Innovative National Liberal Arts Colleges.