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IINSPIRE LSAMP program awarded $5 million

The National Science Foundation has been awarded $5 million dollars to continue funding the IINSPIRE LSAMP Program.

In 2011, the Iowa-Illinois-Nebraska LSAMP (IINSPIRE LSAMP) alliance was formed to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM education in the Midwest. IINSPIRE LSAMP consists of 16 two-year and four-year colleges and universities: Augustana College (Illinois), Des Moines Area Community College, Doane University, Eastern Iowa Community College District, Grinnell College, Hawkeye Community College, Iowa State University, Iowa Valley Community College District, Kirkwood Community College, Little Priest Tribal College, Luther College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Upper Iowa University, and Wartburg College. Iowa State University serves as the lead institution.

The alliance focuses on extending and sustaining innovative student experiences on every campus to recruit and retain students in STEM. In these student experiences, IINSPIRE students become leaders through undergraduate research projects and internships, professional meetings, and student organizations. They gain confidence as scientists, engineers, and mathematicians through training, mentoring, support and transition programs.

The alliance is also focusing on expanding inclusive mentoring and teaching practices; collaborating within and across campuses to provide opportunities for students and faculty; and studying, evaluating and improving student experiences and outcomes. Another emphasis of the alliance is student success through transition points, including math during the first two years of study, transfer from two-year to four-year institutions, and entry into STEM graduate programs. A collective and committed effort by alliance members is improving educational pathways and partnerships for STEM student success.

“Marshalltown Community College is excited to continue to partner with Iowa State University as well as the other institutions in the IINSPIRE LSAMP alliance to continue to provide support and funding for underrepresented minority students interested in STEM education,” said Lara Thoms, Marshalltown Community College I-HUM Grant and Career Services Coordinator. “The funding provided by the National Science Foundation has allowed our students to attend conferences and trainings, as well as summer research opportunities that have inspired these students to continue to their STEM education at four-year colleges and universities.  In the next few years, we hope to expand our efforts to provide financial support to even more students by partnering with Ellsworth Community College.”

Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost at Iowa State University is the Principal Investigator. The Co-Principal Investigators are Bill Lamb, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Kirkwood Community College; Kim Linduska, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at Des Moines Area Community College; Raynard Kington, President of Grinnell College; and Frederik Ohles, President of Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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