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Sunday November 27th, 2022 11:37PM

UNG acquires $1.5 million grant which includes scholarships for STEM students

By Austin Eller News Director

Select STEM students at the University of North Georgia could receive some assistance with their tuition thanks to the institution's acquisition of a nearly $1.5 million grant.

The six-year National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program grant is valued at $1,499,859. Funding for the grant will begin on Jan. 1, 2023.

The grant will allow UNG to give scholarships of up to $10,000 annually to at least 31 students. Those scholarships will be roughly split between the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses. 

The scholarships will be available to full and part-time students pursuing degrees in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. Clinical fields are not included.

Dr. Natalie Hyslop, a professor of biology at UNG and the principal investigator of the grant, said the NSF S-STEM program specifically helps low-income students. 

"The National Science Foundation created this program specifically to help address a national need for well-educated scientists, mathematicians, engineers, technicians, by supporting that retention and graduation of students who are high-achieving and low-income," Hyslop said. 

Hyslop said the grant will also help implement research-based support services for the students.

"So some of the things we're going to be doing involve a first-year STEM seminar," Hyslop said. "It's going to be a seminar really aimed at exposing students to the breadth of careers available in STEM, as well as assisting them with a lot of those challenges that are often encountered with first-year students."

UNG will also pair scholars up with faculty to create a faculty mentoring relationship, provide undergraduate research opportunities and help students acquire internships, admission to graduate school or employment.

Dr. John Leyba, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, Dr. John Holiday, professor of mathematics, Dr. Linda Purvis, assistant professor of biology and Dr. April Nelms, associate dean of the College of Education all served as co-principal investigators on the grant.

Leyba said the funding should help expand the STEM field.

"STEM is not easy ... we only get very few students of all the entering freshmen that come in every year, many of them will come into biology ... and then the other, say, 100, will be distributed among mathematics, chemistry and physics. But by the second year, many of them change their major to a non-STEM degree because it's hard."

Leyba said STEM degrees are becoming increasingly important in Georgia.

More information about the grant can be found here.

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UNG acquires $1.5 million grant which includes scholarships for STEM students
Select STEM students at the University of North Georgia could receive some assistance with their tuition thanks to the institution's acquisition of a nearly $1.5 million grant.
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