$625k grant acquired

Will help establish and fund scholar program

LMC has received a grant of $625,611 that will establish a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholars program (STEM).

In an email from Ruth Goodin of the Office of College Advancement earlier this week, the staff was notified that the grant would allow LMC to offer STEM students currently at LMC, or coming in from high school, scholarships.

Physics Professor Jeanne Bonner was a big part in the school getting this award as one of the principal investigators for the grant.

When she was first hired in 2008 she was sent to a workshop where she first learned of the grant, and immediately she knew it was something they had to go after.

It was not something that was going to happen overnight, though.

“National Science Foundation told us it is not unusual for someone not to win a grant award their first proposal,” Bonner said.

Five years later, the scores finally came in and LMC scored in the money.

Thanks to this money, LMC will be able to set up a STEM program in year-one of the five-year grant and recruit from current LMC students and local high school students to be a part of the program.

In years two through five the program will get to award 25 scholarships between $3,000 and $7,500 a year and five students who transfer to UC’s during years three through five will receive scholarships as well.

Bonner feels that these scholarships are very important for LMC.

“We have a lot of students here who are on financial aid, and we’ve seen a lot of students who have taken longer to get out of here because of financial challenges,” Bonner said. “What we’re hoping to do with this grant is put money in the hands of students so they can attend full-time.”

The current cost for a full time load at LMC is between $500 and $1000 just for the credits alone. Putting this scholarship money in the hands of students could do just what they are hoping that it will.

“I am so excited because finances is what caused me to miss college out of high school,” Bonner said.

This is the first time that LMC has received a S-STEM grant. The overall goal of the program is to increase the number of low-income STEM students who obtain STEM degrees. The NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering.