Delaware Valley University Receives Major Grant From The National Science Foundation to Assist Students in STEM

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STEM Student

Delaware Valley University (DelVal) has received a $749,000 grant from The National Science Foundation. The grant will support students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The National Science Foundation is an independent agency of the United States government that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering.

The grant will provide scholarships for high-achieving, and high-financial-need students, with a focus on transfer students. With financial assistance and special programming, DelVal transfer students will finish their degrees with less debt. 60 percent of the grant funds will go towards scholarships for students, while the remaining money will fund scientific conference travel, experiential learning opportunities, and faculty stipends.

This project addresses the national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technicians by supporting the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income students with demonstrated financial need. Melissa Langston, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and primary investigator, and Jean Smolen, Ph.D., Dean of Life and Physical Sciences, and several faculty members have led the project toward obtaining the grant.

“This grant from the National Science Foundation will allow DelVal to provide additional support for academically strong students in STEM and provide significant scholarships that will decrease students’ debt burden,” said Dr. Smolen.

Over its six-year duration, this project will fund scholarships to 21 unique full-time students who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Conservation Wildlife Management, Environmental Science and Plant Science. Transfer students will receive 2-year scholarships. The goals of the project are to increase the retention and graduation rate of STEM transfer students and prepare students for the STEM workforce, and to graduate education through discipline-specific experiential learning opportunities. The goals of the program are not just to graduate students, but also ensure students have a meaningful experience at DelVal. The project will provide scholar-specific new student orientation, career pathway mentoring, and faculty and peer mentoring.

"The NSF S-STEM grant recognizes students in STEM majors with scholarship support and will encourage the early career development of our S-STEM scholars beyond DelVal's renowned E360 program. It is exciting to bring this opportunity to DelVal and our students,” said Dr. Langston.