INGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University is a partner institution for a new $4 million five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant designed to increase undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in historically underrepresented minority (URM) student populations. The grant supports the SUNY Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (SUNY LSAMP) program, a synergistic collaboration and alliance of 14 SUNY schools, led by Stony Brook University.

Binghamton University will receive $455,860 of the $4 million, under the direction of SUNY LSAMP associate director Shanise Kent. Binghamton University and the other SUNY schools will look to expand the alliance and create additional STEM curriculum opportunities for students. To date, SUNY LSAMP has taken leadership in STEM curricular reform on the SUNY campuses and has supported URM STEM student needs. The effort has led to engagement among faculty, staff, administrators, and heads of academic departments to create new infrastructures on campuses to enhance URM students’ participation and pursuit of STEM higher education.

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"This round of funding will allow the SUNY alliance to scale up programming to increase URM STEM student recruitment and retention, with a focus on improving the community college to four-year school pathway for URM STEM students," said Kent.

Over the next five years, the three leading goals of the project will be to: 1) meet the continuing challenge of preparing URM students for a successful transition into STEM majors; 2) provide experimental activities that lead to socialization into STEM; and 3) promote systemic change by broadening participation in research.

The NSF has supported the SUNY LSAMP program since its inception. This latest grant is the fifth stage of funding and will build upon and fine-tune the Fostering STEM Identity through Transitions (FIT) model, which will conduct an in-depth theory driven examination of the pivotal experiences that lead to engagement, retention, and overall success of URM STEM college students.