10-14-2013

Contact: Kim Kovarik,

Ohio State University and Partner Institutions receive $3.5 Million Grant from National Science Foundation

Grant will establish an alliance to assist underrepresented students toward degree completion in STEM fields

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State University and 10 additional Ohio colleges and universities will share a $3.5 million National Science Foundation grant to help increase underrepresented student success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The five-year grant, awarded through the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, establishes an alliance to double the number of bachelor’s degrees completed in STEM fields at partner institutions within five years.

Ohio State will serve as the lead institution of the alliance, according to Barbara Fink, associate professor in the College of Optometry and the director of the Ohio-based program.

“We will foster a partnership among alliance institutions and industry and community partners that will result in programming that is collaborative, effective, and sustainable and will impact students well beyond the duration of grant funding,” Fink said. “Additionally, our efforts will incorporate evidence-based strategies for successful recruitment, retention, persistence, and degree completion.”

Resources to support students will include innovative mathematics instruction, an interactive web site, shared online courses and workshops, diversity sensitivity training and a research conference. Each institution will provide academic counseling, residential summer bridge programs, paid undergraduate research opportunities, and mentoring, tutoring and supplemental instruction.

The Ohio alliance includes seven four-year institutions: Central State University, The University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University, Miami University, Ohio State, Wilberforce University and Wright State University. The four community colleges include: Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Columbus State Community College, Cuyahoga Community College and Sinclair Community College. The alliance will also collaborate with community partners, an industry advisory board and other programs supported by the National Science Foundation.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Ohio State, where Fink is a faculty fellow, will oversee the implementation of the grant.

“Diversifying the STEM workforce is one of the country’s major challenges,” said Valerie B. Lee, vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and vice president for the Office of Outreach and Engagement. “This grant will provide comprehensive, integrative and sustainable strategies for strengthening the nation’s STEM talent pool. We look forward to working with our alliance institutions to ensure that the state of Ohio is amply represented in a program named after one of its own statesmen.”

The alliance will convene on Nov. 21 on Ohio State’s campus to begin work on its overall strategy.

For questions about the Ohio LSAMP Alliance, contact Fink at fink.4@osu.edu or (614)688-2998.

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About The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

About the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
The Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion is one of the oldest and most prominent offices of its kind in the nation. Founded in 1970, for 43 years its mission has supported the recruitment, retention and success of students, faculty and staff who enhance the diversity mission of Ohio State. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion oversees the Hale Center, the Todd Anthony Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male, the American Disability Act program (ADA) and the nine-city Young Scholars Program, and is home to a wide range of retention, mentoring, scholarship and access programs.

About the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program
Congressionally mandated in 1991, LSAMP is named after Louis Stokes, a congressman from Cleveland, Ohio. The LSAMP program assists universities and colleges in diversifying the STEM workforce through their efforts at significantly increasing the numbers of students successfully completing high quality degree programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Particular emphasis is placed on transforming STEM education through innovative recruitment and retention strategies and experiences in support of groups historically under-represented in STEM discipline: African-Americans, Alaskan Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Pacific Islanders.