College of Engineering Receives $1 million NSF Scholarships in STEM (S-STEM) Award

January 18, 2017
Prairie View A&M University

A S-TEM grant in the amount of $1,000,000 has been awarded to The Roy G. Perry College of Engineering. The five-year STEM (S-STEM) grant is from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the “Engineering Scholars Program: Fostering the Next Generation of STEM Leaders” project. “The project is designed to increase the retention of students from sophomore year to graduation and reduce the average time to degree completion,” said Dr. Sherri S. Frizell, associate professor of Computer Science. She also serves as the Principal Investigator and Program Director for the project. The overarching goals of the program are to assist in increasing the number of underrepresented minority students who graduate with undergraduate degrees in STEM fields and prepare students for diverse career paths.

For academically talented and low income students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering, the scholarship provides financial and programmatic support. The COE will use these scholarships to establish the Engineering Scholars Program that provides 30 scholarships, up to $5,000 per academic year, to annual cohorts of engineering students. In addition to scholarships, the program will provide mentoring, career development, and academic support for selected students.

An integral component of the project is a research study examining student motivation and STEM identity development with a particular focus on the internship experience. Frizell states that since The COE is a noted leader in producing outstanding African-American engineers, this award expands on those efforts. “Program results will advance our understanding of retention and workforce issues impacting African-American students,” Frizell said. “It will also provide insight into interventions that are successful in helping students navigate the path to sustainable engineering careers.”

The project is a collaborative effort between PVAMU and Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMUC). Dr. Delores Rice, assistant professor of higher education and learning technologies at TAMUC, serves as the lead educational researcher on the project. Additional investigators from PVAMU include: Dr. Audie Thompson, research scientist, Dr. Suxia Cui, associate professor in electrical engineering, and Dr. Kendall Harris, dean of COE.

More information about the program including the application process will be available to interested students with the start of the Spring 2017 semester.


Written by Jourdan B. Scruggs