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MCTC Receives $600K Grant for STEM Scholarships

Grant from National Science Foundation Will Support Students Through Scholarships

Summer camps at MCTCThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant of nearly $600,000 to Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) for support of the College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Scholars Program (S-STEM). Under the direction of MCTC faculty members Dr. Renu Kumar and Dr. Maire Sustacek, the S-STEM program is an opportunity for students pursuing Science, Math and Computer Science degrees to secure financial support and mentoring for their studies. Beginning this spring, 36 students will be supported each semester with a scholarship of $2,500, one-on-one faculty mentoring and learning opportunities geared toward their field of interest.

Dr. Kumar, director of the grant, was informed of the award by the NSF, and shortly thereafter received congratulations from Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison. Ellison wrote “I am thrilled to hear that MCTC is paving the pathway for student success in the areas of science and technology through the S-STEM program. Your commitment to creating a more diverse and better-prepared STEM community provides opportunities for underrepresented, underserved and financially needy students to pursue their academic goals.”

The NSF funds were secured by MCTC faculty members Dr. Kumar and Dr. Sustacek (grant co-director) with the help of Faculty Coordinator Dr. Richard Pollack. Their efforts were supported by Dean of Math, Science and Social Sciences Chuck Paulson, Dean of Media, Technology and Public Service Jess Niebuhr, Vice President of Academic Affairs Lois Bollman and MCTC President Phil Davis.

The MCTC S-STEM Scholars program is uniquely positioned to serve first-generation students, low-income students and students of color. Recruitment will target students who are eligible, enrolled in STEM courses and demonstrate academic excellence. This program will provide these groups with access to an excellent STEM education, strengthening the state, national and global economy and brightening our future. MCTC’s high-quality STEM courses and faculty mentorship will engage and challenge students, creating in them a well-prepared, intellectually vigorous science and technology workforce.

“This scholarship will enable students to focus on their studies without the need for second and third jobs and provide them with the opportunity to complete their degree/transfer or successfully enter the workforce,” said Grant Directors Dr. Kumar and Dr. Sustacek. “In addition, the one-on-one mentoring support will help students achieve their learning goals.”

“MCTC’s dedication to science, education and your students makes you both a distinguished and deserving candidate to receive an award from the National Science Foundation,” Congressman Ellison wrote. “I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of MCTC’s S-STEM program in the future.”

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