MAY 20, 2009

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NSF Grant Promises More Than $500,000 in Scholarships for TCC Students

Thirty students per year will soon be able to receive full scholarships at Tulsa Community College to study Science,
Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) with a new grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

TCC has received $589,005 for the grant titled Preparing for Innovation Producing Educated STEM Scholars (PIPESTEMS). The grant provides gap-funded scholarships for students majoring in a STEM area. Each student will receive up to $10,000 a year to pay for tuition, fees, books and more.

To qualify, students must be enrolled full time at TCC studying a STEM program, show academic promise and be low income.

"Technology is an important part of our day to day life. In order to maintain and sustain as leaders in this field, we
must have trained manpower who can help in research and develop these new technologies," said Dr. Patrick Idwasi, assistant professor of chemistry at TCC and the grant's principle investigator. "We are glad to be able to provide gap-funding and extensive and intensive support for TCC students enrolled in the STEM disciplines to increase retention and graduation."

The primary goal of the grant is to increase the number of students in STEM disciplines, especially underrepresented
populations, including minorities and females.

The 2007 statistics from the National Science Foundation show that about 43 percent of the doctorate degrees in science and engineering were awarded to non-US citizens. Only 39 percent of these scholars are women. Of the US doctorate only 4.5 percent were African American, 5.2 percent were Hispanics, and only 0.5 percent were Native Americans.

This first year of the grant is a planning year, which begins July 1. During this time, TCC grant project faculty will
develop the application and selection process. Students will receive scholarships starting in the fall 2010 semester.
This project complements and builds on the NSF grant Stimulating Enthusiasm, Exploration and Discovery through
Biotechnology Education (SEEDBEd), which NSF awarded TCC in 2006.