Ohio Dominican University (ODU) has been awarded a five-year grant totaling $649,959 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to recruit, engage and support low-income students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or environmental science.
Approximately $420,000 of the grant funds is dedicated to providing scholarship assistance to as many as 14 students over the five-year period who demonstrate financial need. The grant will allow ODU to create the St. Albert Scholars Program, which will consist of two cohorts: a cohort of six students that will begin in fall 2021, and a cohort of eight students that will begin in fall 2022. Each student will receive as much as $7,500 per year for up to four years, in addition to a summer research stipend during their third year.
“STEM-related industries across Ohio and the United States are experiencing a significant workforce shortage and talent gap,” said ODU President Robert Gervasi. “This grant from the National Science Foundation will allow us to support students who have a passion for the sciences, but might not have access to the financial resources they need to pursue a college degree and successful career in these growing fields. In addition to scholarship support, this grant will provide our outstanding faculty with additional resources they can use to better engage our students to ensure their academic and professional success throughout and beyond their ODU studies.”
Funds provided by the grant will allow faculty to introduce new programming, enhance student learning, better monitor academic performance, increase retention, and improve outcomes. Evidence-based services will include a STEM cohort model that incorporates common coursework, faculty mentoring, internship and research opportunities, graduate school preparation, and career counseling. Throughout the life of the grant, faculty will study how these strategies impact self-efficacy and how it correlates to retention, graduation, and post-graduation placement in a STEM-related graduate program or career.
The lead principal investigator for this grant is Jessica Hall, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biology. Co-principal investigators include Ron Zielke, Ph.D., associate professor of Mathematics and chair of ODU’s Division of Mathematics, Computer & Natural Sciences; Janet Antwi, Ph.D., assistant professor of Chemistry; and Blake Mathys, Ph.D., associate professor of Environmental Science.