Rice Lands 25 Million NSF Grant

first_imgAddThis Share CONTACT: Mike Cinelli PHONE: (713)831-4794E-MAIL: [email protected] ACADEMIC RECRUITMENT EFFORTS HELP RICE LAND $2.5 MILLION MINORITYEDUCATION GRANT FROM NSF Programs that encourage minoritystudents to pursue advanced degrees in science, math and engineering helped RiceUniversity earn a $2.5 million Minority Graduate Education (MGE) grant from theNational Science Foundation (NSF).Rice is the only university in the Southwest, and one of onlyeight institutions in the nation, to receive a portion of $20 million the NSFearmarked for launching its MGE program, which is aimed at significantlyincreasing the number of minority students receiving doctoral degrees in thesciences, mathematics and engineering.The eight universities will each receive awards of up to$500,000 per year for five years depending on numbers of students served andfactors related to project design.In its application to the NSF, Rice highlighted the success ofits Computational and Applied Mathematics (CAAM) department to recruit andretain minority students in graduate degree programs. Principles learned in CAAMwill provide a strong foundation for the university’s MGE effort. In addition,Rice proposes an experiment to develop and implement admissions criteria thatmore effectively predict success in graduate research programs and subsequentcareer positions. “For many years, Texas was adversely affected by a drain ofsome of our best minority talent to graduate programs on the East and Westcoasts,” said Rice President Malcolm Gillis. “Having once left, theseindividuals tended strongly not to return to Texas. Rice and other universitiesin Texas have sought to counter this ‘brain drain’ through resourcefulrecruiting of budding minority scientists and engineers.“This new NSF grant will materially strengthen our ability toattract and retain these valuable individuals.” The Rice MGE project will operate under the direction of aleadership team which includes Provost David Auston; Kathleen Matthews, dean ofthe Wiess School of Natural Sciences; Sidney Burrus, dean of the George R. BrownSchool of Engineering; Jordan Konisky, vice provost; and Professor RichardTapia, a member of the National Science Board.Tapia’s outreach programs, funded through the NSF’s Center forResearch on Parallel Computation, have been honored for theirsuccesses.“We are proud that we have won this highly competitive awardfrom the NSF, largely based on the things we have done here at Rice to addressinclusiveness,” Tapia said. “We are very much aware at the national level thatunder&endash;representation of minorities in these disciplines is ofcritical importance and endangers the health of the nation.”The 1996 Hopwood case in Texas, which removed the use of raceas a determining factor in admissions and financial aid decisions, presentedanother challenge that Rice has worked through, Tapia added.“We have acknowledged that Hopwood presented us withconstraints in which we had to work, but we still have been successful,” hesaid. “Now we are prepared to implement a program that universities around thenation can emulate.”Included in the Rice MGE program is the University ofWisconsin-Madison.“UW-Madison will not only help us evaluate components of ourprogram, but will establish programs based on the Rice model to its College ofEngineering, which has already been very active in promoting and supportingprograms intended to increase the number of minority graduate programs on theMadison campus,” said Konisky.The seven other universities receiving MGE grants are theGeorgia Institute of Technology, Howard University, The University of Alabama atBirmingham, the University of Florida, the University of Missouri at Columbia,the University of Michigan, and the University of Puerto Rico at RioPiedras.Rice University is a leading American researchuniversity–small, private and highly selective–distinguished by its superiorteaching, commitment to undergraduate education, outstanding graduate andprofessional programs, residential college system, collaborative andinterdisciplinary culture, and global perspective.###last_img read more