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National Science Foundation awards $2 million in funding to UA Little Rock



Little Rock, Arkansas – The National Science Foundation has given UA Little Rock its largest grant ever to fund undergraduate STEM education initiatives.

The university was given nearly $2 million to spend over a five-year period.

It will have a fantastic impact on the entire university, according to Mark Baillie, an assistant professor of chemistry.

The funds will help the Donaghey College of STEM personnel and students, especially those from underrepresented communities.

The award will pay a stipend of over $1,000 per semester to students who take part in the campus learning aid program, which functions similarly to student mentors in the classroom.

David Montague, UA Little Rock Associate vice chancellor for student success says, “the thing that is wonderful about this particular grant is it uses its opportunities to engender how to be better stem experts in our students.”

First-generation students like Olive Pate, a Learning Assistant, are among the historically neglected groups that UA Little Rock dedicates this scholarship to. “Working with other LA’s and building this community and seeing how other people are studying has just been very beneficial,” said Pate.

With the Mobile Institute on Scientific Teaching workshop, faculty will not only learn new teaching techniques to advance these groups more, but they will also receive $500 as payment for completion.

“It transformed the way that I taught,” said Baillie.

He adds that “through these training opportunities, it will really allow us to decrease what we call the equity gap between students of privilege and students who don’t have as much privilege.”

75 stem faculty members and over 600 students will get the stipends from these programs over the next 5 years.

The interdisciplinary team led by Dr. Mark Baillie, assistant professor of chemistry, is a collaboration with faculty from the STEM Education Center.

-Dr. Michael Moore, director of undergraduate research and mentoring.
-Dr. Lundon Pinneo, assistant professor for the School of Education.
-Dr. David Montague, associate vice chancellor for student success for the Office of the Provost
-Ronia Kattoum, an advanced instructor of chemistry and Ph.D. student in applied sciences-chemistry


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