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IU Northwest News

National Science Foundation – Advancing Indiana Math and Science kickoff is Oct. 22 at IU Northwest


Kickoff coincides with Fall Preview Night

Wednesday Oct 14, 2015


Early this year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Indiana University Northwest with more than $600,000 to jumpstart the effort of attracting more students into science, technology and mathematics disciplines. The University is now inviting applications for scholarships to incoming freshmen and two-year college graduates pursuing science, technology and math.

Prospective incoming freshmen are invited to learn more about the scholarships at IU Northwest’s Fall Preview Night at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, October 22 in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium, located in the Savannah Center.

The NSF program, Advancing Indiana Math and Science (AIMS) provides up to $10,000 per year to undergraduate students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in the following majors: actuarial science, biology, chemistry, computer information systems, geology, informatics and mathematics. Scholarships and academic support will be awarded to approximately 26 academically talented students with demonstrated financial need over the next five years.

More than a scholarship, NSF-AIMS, promotes student success in Science, Technology, and Math (STEM) disciplines by providing academic and peer support to scholarship recipients.

Scholarships are renewable each year, up to three years for entering freshmen and one year for community college graduates. These scholarships enable students to attend college full-time, reducing the need for students to seek other employment.

NSF-AIMS Scholars are linked academically and socially through shared experiences. Academic and peer support are intertwined through placement seminars, peer-led instruction, field trips, a first-year STEM seminar, and cohort classes. NSF-AIMS scholars have opportunities to become instructional leaders, participate in faculty-mentored research, internships, and to take advantage of job placement services. Partnerships with local industry, government, and non-profit organizations will create experiential learning for students, while filling the needs of regional employers that are experiencing a shortage of STEM workers.

Incoming freshmen with a GPA of 3.2 or better and community college graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or better are encouraged to apply. One major goal of NSF-AIMS is to increase the number of women, African Americans, and Hispanics in math and science in Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland region. Individuals from these groups who are interested in pursuing careers in science, technology and math are strongly encouraged to apply. The deadline is March 1, 2016.

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Mark McPhail points out that a grant from the NSF, “in and of itself, is an important indication of the quality of work being produced by IU Northwest faculty in the sciences.”

“What makes it especially significant,” McPhail said, “is its emphasis on providing support for ensuring the success of our students.  With almost all of the funds being used to support scholarships, this grant provides the type of direct support that our students need most. It speaks highly of our faculty that they recognize what our students need to succeed in challenging financial times, when support for education has decreased at the same time that our need for science education has increased.”  

The NSF-AIMS project, which has set the goal of increasing STEM graduates by 10 percent over a five-year period, was proposed to the NSF by a group of faculty at IU Northwest in response to the Foundation’s request for proposals to address the national shortage of STEM graduates. The team was led by Professor Bhaskara Kopparty, Ph.D., who served as principal investigator, and included Professors Kristin Huysken, Ph.D., Dan Kelly, Ph.D., Vesna Kilibarda, Ph.D., and Michael LaPointe, Ph.D., who served as co-principal investigators.

"As the region’s university, IU Northwest prepares students to continue to build the region’s future knowledge economy and STEM majors are one of our distinctive faculty strengths,” said Chancellor William J. Lowe. “Our students work hard to earn their bachelor’s degrees, many working more than one job and managing families, while pursuing an education. NSF-AIMS scholarships will both reduce the need to work so many hours and provide important internship and hands-on experiences with area industrial, government, and non-profit organizations, which underscores the connections between our science, technology, and math programs and the region. "

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016-17 academic year. To apply, visit www.iun.edu/stem-scholarship. For more information, call (219) 980-6740.

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