Wright State, Ohio State, other institutions receive $3.5 million grant to increase underrepresented graduates in STEM fields

Photo of Orly LeivaThe Ohio State University, Wright State University and nine other Ohio colleges and universities will share a $3.5 million National Science Foundation grant over the next five years to help increase the success of underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The grant, awarded through the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, establishes an alliance that will work to double the number of bachelor’s degrees completed in STEM fields at partner institutions within five years.

Wright State will receive about $250,000 for its effort, which will be headed by Nathan Klingbeil, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science; and Martin Gooden, Ph.D.,lecturer and director of the psychology undergraduate program.

Wright State Provost S. Narayanan will serve on the program’s governing board.Ohio State will serve as the lead institution of the alliance.

“We will foster a partnership among alliance institutions and industry and community partners that will result in programming that is collaborative, effective, and sustainable and will impact students well beyond the duration of grant funding,” said Barbara Fink, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Optometry and director of the program.“Additionally, our efforts will incorporate evidence-based strategies for successful recruitment, retention, persistence and degree completion.”

Photo of Amma BoakyeAlliance-wide activities will include innovative curricular reforms in mathematics, an interactive website, shared online courses and workshops, diversity sensitivity training and a research conference. Each institution will provide advisement and counseling, residential summer bridge programs, paid undergraduate research opportunities and mentoring, tutoring and supplemental instruction.

The alliance includes seven four-year institutions: Ohio State, Wright State, Central State University, the University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University, Miami University and Wilberforce University. Community colleges include Sinclair Community College, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Columbus State Community College and Cuyahoga Community College. The alliance will also collaborate with community partners, an industry advisory board and other programs supported by the National Science Foundation.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio State, where Fink is a faculty fellow, will oversee the implementation of the grant.

“Diversifying the STEM workforce is one of the country’s major challenges,” said Valerie B. Lee, Ohio State’s vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and vice president for the Office of Outreach and Engagement. “This grant will provide comprehensive, integrative and sustainable strategies for strengthening the nation’s STEM talent pool.”

The alliance will convene on Nov. 21 at Ohio State to begin work on its overall strategy.

For questions about the Ohio LSAMP Alliance, please contact Barbara Fink at fink.4@osu.edu or (614) 688-2998.

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