Faculty/Staff News

Troy University takes part in effort to diversify STEM workforce within Alabama’s Black Belt

February 26, 2018

Troy University is among an alliance of eight colleges and universities involved in a 5-year project to diversify the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce within Alabama’s Black Belt Region.

The Greater Alabama Black Belt Region Alliance, funded through a $379,400 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, seeks to increase the number of students from historically underrepresented groups who receive undergraduate and graduate degrees in the STEM disciplines. The alliance’s efforts began last fall.

The National Science Foundation’s LSAMP helps universities and colleges increase the number of baccalaureate and graduate degrees awarded to historically underrepresented populations, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders.

Dr. Govind Menon, director of the School of Science and Technology and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics, and Dr. Jacqueline Jones, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, will administer the grant funding at Troy University to benefit the Greater Alabama Black Belt Region Alliance.

“This grant will go a long way in engaging minority students in STEM disciplines at Troy University,” Dr. Menon said. “Our partnership with Auburn University will aid African American, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islander students succeed in their undergraduate education, and beyond the baccalaureate level, proceed to further graduate study.”

Students at partner institutions will receive benefits including scholarships, peer mentoring, free tutoring, research internships, travel to research conferences, collegiate success preparation, participation in enrichment programs and academies, study abroad opportunities, and access to enrichment initiatives and academic workshops. Each year, funding from the grant will impact more than 275 minority undergraduate and graduate students, and upwards of 200 high school students throughout the region.

Others partner institutions include: Auburn University, Auburn University Montgomery, Alabama State University, Enterprise State Community College, Southern Union State Community College and the University of West Alabama.