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NSF grant funds $620,000 for chemistry scholarships

August 13, 2013

By Donna Fowler

MSU Denver has received a $620,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program (S-STEM) to fund scholarships for students majoring in chemistry.

The Denver Metro Chem Scholars (DMCS) program will combine full-ride scholarships with additional student support services for chemistry majors who have a 3.2 GPA in science and mathematics courses, a 3.0 GPA overall and have less than an estimated $10,000 family contribution to the cost of their education.

“I foresee these scholars as leaders in the University community,” says Assistant Professor of Chemistry Rosie DePoy Walker, the grant’s principal investigator. “The scholarship will free up these students to spend more time studying and doing undergraduate research rather than working. My hope is that they will be role models who will reach back and help other students.”

 The DMCS program will fund six sophomores and six juniors this year and an additional six sophomores in the next two academic years. Each student will receive $7,900 per year through their senior year.

The program’s focus will be on retention and reducing the number of years from six to four for graduation. It will augment the University’s existing student support services with cohort-specific peer mentoring, supplemental instruction, faculty-guided undergraduate research, enhanced academic advising and workshops on career and postgraduate educational opportunities.

This year’s scholars have not been chosen yet, but DePoy is hoping the scholarships can be awarded before the Sept. 4 census. Invitations to apply will go out through Aug. 16 with a planned Aug. 26 application deadline.

DePoy Walker is also director of the federally funded STEPS program, which encourages minority participation in the sciences. In recognition of the 14-year-old program’s contributions to diversity, DePoy Walker received the 2012 Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences from the American Chemical Society.

The grant’s co-principal investigators are Assistant Professor of Chemistry Andrew Bonham and Student Academic Success Director Derrick Haynes.

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