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$1.75 million NSF grant to aid SUNO with awarding student scholarships - Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Southern University, New Orleans (SUNO) has received $1.75 million from
the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the next five years for its Enhancement, Enrichment and Excellence in Mathematics and Science (E3MaS) grant.   
 
“We thank Senator Mary Landrieu, Jefferson Parish Public School System Superintendent Dr. Diane Roussel and Superintendent Darryl Kilbert of New Orleans Public Schools for submitting letters to the NSF in support of our proposal,” said Victor Ukpolo, Ph.D., SUNO’s chancellor.  “This funding will allow us to increase scholarship offerings for incoming freshmen, and greatly enhance our math and science summer enrichment program that’s attended by high school students from the region.  Interest in
the summer program also comes from students outside of this region, and now SUNO will be able to accommodate them thanks to having student housing, which will be available in January.”
 
The grant will enable SUNO to continue to strengthen its undergraduate recruitment and retention activities in mathematics and science by:
1. Improving the quality of incoming high school students through the Summer Enrichment Program
2. Developing high school mathematics and science teachers through content enhancement workshops
3. Improving the quality of undergraduates through scholarships, learning center support, research mentoring, placement in summer internships and GRE preparation
4. Implementing aggressive faculty development through peer mentoring, seed grant award for research development and sponsorship to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) research consortium workshop
 
The expected project outcomes include:
Increased science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduation
Increased faculty participation in research, publications and grant writing
Enhanced quality of undergraduate research experiences
Strengthened partnerships with academic institutions and research labs
Increased use of technology in teaching and research in all STEM disciplines
Increased numbers of STEM students completing the path from high school through college to graduate
school
 
The leadership team for this grant consists of Joe Omojola, Murty Kambhampati and Carl P. Johnson, all of the Department of Natural Sciences.  Members of the team have proven to be highly effective in mentoring students in math and science.
 
In 2007, Omojola received the 2006 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from the National Science Foundation at the White House. Dr. Omojola has used the funds to hold his Gateway to Excellence in Math and Science summer camp for elementary school students.
 
In 2008, Kambhampati received the National Role Model Faculty Award and then student Carmen Maldonado received the National Role Model Student Award from Minority Access, Inc. in Arlington, Virginia.  Maldonado graduated summa cum laude from SUNO in 2009, and is pursuing her master of science in epidemiology.
 
Another product of SUNO’s math and science mentoring, Jeffrey Ambrose, placed first at the annual HBCU Undergraduate Program National Research Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in 2008.  Ambrose, who won a cash award for his Plant Biology Oral Presentation on Ecology/Environmental Science, is pursuing his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering.
 
SUNO currently has nineteen Scholarships for Excellence in Natural Sciences recipients.