CUNY Awarded $3.9 Million NSF Grant to Promote Minority Participation in STEM

The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year, $3.97 million grant to 13 CUNY institutions to increase the number of underrepresented minority students graduating with degrees in the STEM fields—science, technology, mathematics and engineering.

Specifically, the funding will support the efforts of the New York City Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NYC-LSAMP) to provide training and academic support to STEM majors and prepare students for graduate school and STEM careers. The grant will also be used to broaden minority student recruitment into STEM fields and encourage faculty collaboration across the colleges participating in the initiative. Since its inception at CUNY, the LSAMP program has provided scholarships to more than 3,000 students.

“At CUNY, we take enormous pride in the University’s history of helping generations of low-income, underserved and immigrant students succeed,” said Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. “Even as perhaps the most racially and ethnically diverse university in the world, CUNY’s commitment to campuses that are inclusive and diverse has never been more central to its mission. This grant helps the University build on that extraordinary legacy in new and exciting ways, creating opportunities for the growing numbers of CUNY students interested in STEM careers.”

Lehman College will oversee NYC-LSAMP. The other participating colleges are Baruch, Queens, Medgar Evers, Brooklyn, The City College of New York, Macaulay Honors College, New York City College of Technology and College of Staten Island; as well as Bronx, Guttman and Hostos Community Colleges. Hunter College will participate by staffing the social science component of the project. An educational psychologist and team from Hunter will document the program’s progress so that the LSAMP model can be replicated at other institutions.

“Receiving this grant is very exciting,” said Lehman College President José Luis Cruz, the grant’s principal investigator and project director. “The NYC-LSAMP program has a long tradition of providing access to quality education programs and life-changing opportunities for CUNY students. With this new grant, even more underserved minority students will have the opportunity to participate and work towards STEM careers that will enrich their lives and also transform the lives of the people they will be serving. The impact of these students in their respective industries, companies and organizations, given the support from the NSF and Louis Stokes Alliance, is incalculable.”

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.