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Lipinski Announces $1.46 Million STEM Education Grant for Saint Xavier University

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is announcing that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Saint Xavier University (SXU) a $1.46 million grant – the largest of its kind in SXU history – to support underserved students pursuing a career in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.  Thirty-eight percent of students at SXU are Hispanic, and this award marks the first grant SXU has received as part of the NSF’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.

“This grant will be a great help as Saint Xavier advances its commitment to training students for careers in STEM fields,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “As a former teacher and one of only a dozen engineers in Congress, I believe strongly that improving STEM education for everyone is among the most important steps we can take to ensure that America remains the most technologically innovative country in the world, and that our young people receive an education that will allow them to succeed both now and in the future.”

In the House of Representatives, Lipinski serves on the Science, Space, and Technology committee.  He is the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Research and Technology, and is co-chair of the Congressional STEM Education Caucus.  When he was chairman of the Research Subcommittee, he wrote the bill reauthorizing the NSF.

“We are honored for the opportunity to expand STEM education for our undergraduate students,” said SXU President Laurie M. Joyner.  “With this support, we will be able to offer more high-impact learning experiences along with the academic support students need to stay on track to complete their studies toward a career in a STEM field following graduation.  It is because of our committed SXU community that our institution continues to actualize its mission of educating the underserved for lives of meaning and career success.”

The NSF grant will support a project that will implement four objectives: (1) create a STEM Studio to provide a gathering place for a community of SXU scientific scholars; (2) centralize targeted academic support strategies for undergraduates in science courses at critical transition points; (3) provide opportunities for student-faculty collaborative research and for other high-impact learning experiences such as short-term field research; and (4) provide networking opportunities and curriculum enhancements that connect academic coursework to the workplace.

The program, which begins in October, will be co-led by a cross-departmental team of faculty and staff, which includes: Bindhu Alappat, associate professorand Chemistry Department chair; Thomas Thorp, professor of philosophy; David Elmendorf, associate professor of biology; Julia Bingham Wiester, assistant professor of chemistry; and Maureen Wogan, associate provost for Retention, Records, and Advising.