SUNY Broome shares in $4.1 million NSF grant

SUNY Broome Community College will share in the over $4.1 million in federal funding that Binghamton University has received to promote STEM degrees and careers for low income, academically gifted students.  The funding was allocated through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and will be used to promote Bachelor of Science degree completion in STEM fields through partnerships with community colleges.

SUNY Broome will receive more than $640,000 as a sub-award of this five-year NSF grant. Most of the funds will be used to offer scholarships of approximately $10,000 per student per year to attract and retain a total of 30 academically talented, low-income students in STEM fields relating to smart energy. Students will continue to receive the scholarship at Binghamton University for the completion of a BS degree in STEM.

Dr. Daniel Brennan, a chemistry professor, has a long-standing partnership with BU and will lead the project at SUNY Broome. Brennan knows firsthand the challenges that this target group faces in completing a STEM degree.

“Growing up in a low-income household myself, I understand how difficult it can be to succeed in STEM at the college level,” he said. “I look forward to working with these students to help them overcome obstacles and support their transition from SUNY Broome to BU to the STEM workforce.”

The federal investment will be used to train students, moving from SUNY Broome and CUNY Queensborough Community College to Binghamton University, in STEM fields including Smart Energy. Participating students will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience in these fields and will work with new technologies and materials for energy storage and generation at cutting-edge research facilities at Binghamton.  Students will also have the opportunity to work with the American Chemical Society’s Education Division to work on self-assessment, career planning, goal setting, and skill strengthening.  The project will also study interventions to improve retention, completion and academic success for community college transfer students, and will extend support to transfer students as soon as they begin at community college.

“Enjoying the opportunity to participate in these outstanding experiences without having to worry about working unrelated jobs to pay for college will be a key strength of this program,” said Brennan.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.