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UT Tyler receives NSF Grant to enhance LSAMP program

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University of Texas at Tyler:

TYLER (KYTX) - The University of Texas at Tyler was awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation to extend and enhance its UT System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program, Dr. Michael Odell, associate vice president for sponsored research and director of federal relations, announced.

The $222,320 grant, titled "UT System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation: A Senior Model Alliance Focused on Student Success," carries the program through 2017. Dr. Stephen Rainwater, Lecil and Barbara Chandler professor of computer science, will continue his role as the UT Tyler campus director.

Supported by NSF, the UT LSAMP program provides undergraduate research experiences in an effort to increase the number of students from underrepresented populations pursuing graduate level studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. Each student receives a fellowship stipend for their participation and faculty mentors receive funding for supplies and materials to support their students' research activities.

"In addition to continuing support of STEM undergraduates during the summer, the program will now provide opportunities for students to participate in U.S. Department of Energy labs and conduct research abroad. Tyler Junior College will also join the Alliance as a community college partner and special emphasis will include recruiting veterans to participate in the program," said Rainwater, who has been involved in the program since 1994.

TJC students will be recruited to participate in research with UT Tyler faculty mentors during the summers. Gigi Delk, TJC computer science faculty member and UT Tyler adjunct senior lecturer, will serve as the TJC LSAMP campus director.

All nine UT System academic institutions, as well as community college partners, are involved in the LSAMP program.

UT Tyler has been a part of the program for 20 years. Nearly 100 UT Tyler students have participated under the guidance of more than a dozen faculty mentors in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

"Many of these students have begun graduate work in their respective fields and several have completed or are currently enrolled in Ph.D. programs," Rainwater added.

He is the senior member on the UT System LSAMP Academic Leadership Council. Dr. Neil Gray, Department of Chemistry chair, and Dr. Neil Ford, professor of biology, serve on the local UT Tyler LSAMP advisory committee.

For more information about the UT Tyler LSAMP program, contact Rainwater, 903.566.7235 or srainwater@uttyler.edu.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 7,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

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