A $441,550 grant from the National Science Foundation to Hampshire College will support women, minority, and first-generation transfer students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Over the next five years, the grant will provide financial assistance each year to as many as 20 STEM students who transfer into Hampshire from community colleges.
Hampshire already has articulated transfer agreements with Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts and Palm Beach Community College in Florida, and similar agreements with other area community colleges are in negotiations.
"With this grant Hampshire College is well poised to continue its work in providing access to underrepresented students, and in building a more inclusive campus," said Jaime Dávila, special presidential assistant for diversity and computer science professor.
In addition to financial aid, optional research opportunities will be available for students during the summer before they transfer into Hampshire. A core team of faculty and staff will advise, mentor, and support the students throughout their transition into the new program.
Professor Dávila will provide overall leadership and direction for the program. Chris Jarvis, dean of the School of Natural Science, will be involved in planning, mentoring, and advising while also serving as head of the summer research program with the assistance of biology professor Lynn Miller.
Staff faculty associate Madelaine Marquez will plan and implement out-of-classroom activities for the program. Melissa Scheid-Frantz, director of the Lebrón-Wiggins-Pran Cultural Center, will partner with her to advise and mentor the students outside of the classroom.
The grant recognizes the important role of science education at Hampshire College, Dávila noted. Hampshire also has a strong background in attracting underrepresented students to the STEM fields. From 2005 to 2008, women and students from underrepresented groups made up 70 percent of Hampshire's science concentrators.