Lipinski Announces Nearly $1 Million STEM Grant for Lewis University

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is announcing that the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program has awarded a grant of over $961,000 to Lewis University in Romeoville.  The funds will support the university’s Biology Transitions program, which provides support to low-income students with demonstrated financial need and academic promise to succeed in STEM disciplines at the school.

The project will fund 28 scholarships over 5 years for transfer students who are pursuing bachelor's degrees in biological sciences.  The program will expose students to a learning model that emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving, while providing support to transfer students as they transition to a 4-year institution from community college.

“This grant will be a great help as Lewis 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 today and in the future.”

Lewis University's Biology Transitions program will increase the number of underrepresented, economically disadvantaged students who complete 4-year degrees and enter the STEM workforce directly or after completing a graduate program, helping to advance scientific knowledge and provide needed, qualified STEM professionals.

In addition to scholarships, the program will incorporate intensive mentoring, academic support, and undergraduate research opportunities to ensure that at least 80% of Biology Transitions participants will persist to graduation.  Professional guidance in the internship, graduate, and professional school application processes will advance students toward STEM professions and increase the number of graduating scholars who continue in a STEM field through employment or graduate school.

In the House of Representatives, Congressman 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 National Science Foundation.