Over the next four years, SUNY Canton will receive a $596,160 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be used for scholarships given to engineering technology students.
Dr. Lawretta Ononye, associate professor of physics, serves as the principal investigator and director of SUNY Canton’s project proposal. She is assisted by colleague Dr. Stephen Frempong, professor of electrical engineering technology and co-principal investigator of the proposal, as well as JoAnne Fassinger, the College’s grants coordinator.
“This is a monumental accomplishment for us as we continue to do everything we can to make college an option for all students, irrespective of their economic circumstance,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “I thank the efforts of Dr. Ononye, Dr. Frempong and JoAnne for working as hard as they did over the last few years to make this a reality for SUNY Canton and our future students.”
SUNY Canton’s project, entitled “Scholarships for Engineering Technology,” will be funded through the NSF Scholarship for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) project. It will provide scholarships for 18 full-time students who have demonstrated superior academic performance but face economic hardships. An annual award of $7,200 for up to four years will help support the scholars through their degree completion at the College.
The scholarships will be awarded to students in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree or enrolled in a two-year associate degree program with plans of earning their four-year degree.
“A grant of this magnitude is an extraordinary achievement for SUNY Canton and brings us to a new level of grantsmanship,” said Fassinger, who noted that the NSF award is a first for the College. “Grants from the National Science Foundation are considered to be among the most prestigious and competitive in higher education. It is truly a sign of SUNY Canton’s tremendous growth in all areas.”
Programs at the College affected by the S-STEM project include electrical engineering technology, mechanical engineering technology, civil engineering technology, engineering science and alternative and renewable energy.
“I’m very excited that the countless hours and energy we put into the proposal has paid off,” Ononye said. “This award will encourage all students to consider engineering, science and technology, including underrepresented groups and women.”
Frempong emphasized the S-STEM project is of great significance to SUNY Canton and its Canino School of Engineering Technology. “It has both intellectual merit and broader impact,” he stated. “The funding will help with new support programs, including a mentoring program, STEM seminar, and a tutoring center. We will have the resources to develop a summer program to boost scholars’ physics and mathematics backgrounds. It will also allow us to offer field trips to local businesses and into industry.
“It will enhance the ongoing efforts at SUNY Canton by promoting retention and building a community of scholars,” Frempong added. “It will assist in the placement of students in the workforce or graduate school.”
According to NSF’s website, the S-STEM program “makes grants to institutions of higher education to support scholarships for academically talented, financially needy students, enabling them to enter the workforce following completion of an associate; baccalaureate; or graduate-level degree in science and engineering disciplines.”
Institutions receiving awards are responsible for selecting scholarship recipients, reporting demographic information about student scholars, and managing the S-STEM project on campus.
For more information about SUNY Canton’s S-STEM project, visit: http://www.canton.edu/nsfsstem/.
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