SUU Science Professors Submit NSF S-STEM Grant Proposal for Student Scholarships

Published: July 12, 2021 | Author: Lawrence Mbaki | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU scienceMany SPARC Office grant submissions indirectly support students through faculty, staff, facility, or program support. As such, the SPARC team got really excited when Dr. Carrie Bucklin, assistant professor of biology at Southern Utah University, came to the SPARC Office with hopes of responding to a National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (NSF S-STEM) proposal that would directly benefit our students on campus.

NSF S-STEM addresses the need for high-quality STEM education to support the growing STEM workforce by supporting programs that increase the success of low-income, academically talented students. If funded, SUU’s submission entitled Becoming a Scientist: Utilizing Scholarships and the Cohort Experience to Decrease Attainment and Equity Gaps in the Sciences would provide $900,000 in direct scholarship assistance to 27 unique students in biology, chemistry, geology, and physical science over six years.

One of the main objectives of Becoming a Scientist is to create a shared experience where students build a scientific or research identity that intersects with their larger social and cultural views. SUU students sometimes feel isolated within the framework of college—especially if they do not fit into the model of a traditional college student (e.g., single-parents, veterans). By creating opportunities for students to step into the role of a scientist while providing avenues to incorporate their social and cultural identities, this project is well-positioned to increase student persistence.

“We really like the idea of the scholarship-based grant that will give scholarships to S-STEM students,” said Dr. Bucklin. “My hope is that this scholarship will help reduce stress for students so they can focus on their college experience.”

Dr. Bucklin received her bachelor of arts degree in biology with a minor in natural resources from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Her master’s and Ph.D. are from the University of Southern Mississippi. She loves people and especially loves working with historically underrepresented populations.

Dr. Bucklin has two co-PIs who assisted with the grant proposal Dr. Lindsey Roper, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Elizabeth Pierce, assistant professor of chemistry. If funded, they will each mentor a student cohort yearly throughout the performance period.

“Being involved in the evolution of a grant proposal is a rewarding process,” said Jenn Stewart, SPARC’s pre-award research administrator. “Starting this process early is key to securing any highly competitive NSF grant.”

Dr. Carrie Bucklin Dr. Lindsey Roper Dr. Elizabeth Pierce

The SPARC Office commends faculty-scientists Dr. Bucklin, Dr. Roper, and Dr. Pierce for their efforts on behalf of our T-Bird STEM students. Whether or not they ultimately secure NSF S-STEM funding, one thing is for sure—through their examples and teaching, they are already shattering science stigmas and planting seeds of science identity within our students every day. We are lucky to have this terrific trio as part of our T-Bird family.

Produced by the SPARC Office
SUU’s SPARC Office provides assistance to faculty, staff, and administrators seeking external funding for their projects and programs, from concept development and planning through implementation and management of funded projects.


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