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Abraham announces $2.2 million for Grambling STEM education

June 6, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, announced today that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding a $2.2 million grant to Grambling State University aimed at producing more undergraduates pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The goal of the project is to implement a holistic approach to STEM education that will yield higher retention and graduation rates of STEM undergraduates, particularly in the fields of math, physics and data analytics.

“STEM jobs are in high demand, and we should be working with our higher education institutions to see that Louisiana students are the ones filling them. I appreciate the National Science Foundation for awarding this grant to Grambling, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this funding will have on GSU’s students and our region,” said Dr. Abraham, a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

GSU President Rick Gallot added, “We appreciate the investment of these research dollars from the National Science Foundation that will have a direct impact on our ability to support education in the STEM fields.  I certainly appreciate the hard work of Dr. Connie Walton and the team for pursuing this grant opportunity, and I look forward to seeing the great work that will flow from it.  We certainly appreciate the support of our congressional delegation; without their support, none of this would be possible.”

The grant will support 45 students annually as researchers, peer tutors or academic coaches. The project objectives are to implement a big data training program to support data analytics education; restructure the math and physics curriculum; and enhance the soft skills of STEM students, such as resume writing and interview preparation.

“We are excited about this national science foundation award. This is the third cycle of funding that Grambling State University has received from this NSF program to enhance stem education," said Dr. Connie Walton, principle investigator and Chemistry professor.

"This funding supports Grambling State University's ability to continue to make an impact on the STEM workforce at the state and national levels by producing highly-prepared STEM graduates.  This project will expand the training STEM graduates receive in Big Data Analysis. Big Data Science will be infused into the curriculum via research and new content in courses. 

"Additionally, innovative strategies will be implemented to improve the retention and graduation of STEM students.  Career Services will have a special role in this project related to enhancing the soft skills of STEM students.”

The grant is being awarded as part of the NSF’s program to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).