TTU receives $1 million for STEM programs

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Sen. John Cornyn announced Texas Tech would be receiving a $999,999 grant from the National Science Foundation on Tuesday. About 70 percent of the money will fund four-year scholarships for 40 students.

Callum Hetherington, associate professor for the Dept. of Geosciences and one of the authors of the grant, said the grant is for students from rural and under-served areas to study majors in STEM.

“The law of statistics says that, ‘no, you’re not always going to be funded at the national science foundation’ however, again, this was a recent mission,” Hetherington said.

Hetherington said this is their second time submitting for the grant. He said the first time, they were rejected but took feedback for the grant to resubmit.

“We think when we played to the strengths of rural community, this proposal had a good chance of being favorably reviewed,” Hetherington said.

Hetherington said building cohorts is one of the most important aspects of receiving the grant.

“We want to build a cohort that really showcases and leverages the interdisciplaney nature of sciences and the subjects that are available through the College of Arts and Sciences,” he said.

John Zak, professor of biological sciences, interim chair of the department and co-writer of the grant, said the money would be used for student scholarships, research and salaries for students so they may focus on studying.

“We provide them some income, it then allows them the time to be able to get more involved and to stay involved,” Zak said.

The award will begin in March of 2020 through February of 2025.

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