Washington, DC– U.S. Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-Southwest Louisiana) recently announced the University of Louisiana’s receipt of a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

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The award, which is worth $548,880, is for the project “Smooth Transition for Advancement to Graduate Education (STAGE) for Underrepresented Minorities (URMs) in Mathematical Sciences: A Pilot Project.” The project is designed to better prepare more URMs to pursue graduate studies in the mathematical sciences and other areas, and is under the direction of UL Professor Dr. Nabendu Pal (principal investigator). Co-investigators of this project are Professors Aghalaya Vatsala, Patricia Beaulieu and Christina Eubanks-Turner.

“I congratulate the University of Louisiana for attaining this award,”Boustany said. “Ensuring that all Louisiana residents are able to fully realize the graduate programs available through our universities is essential to improving our overall education system in this state. This program plays a large role in understanding how we can improve.”

“Nationwide, there is a push to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, known as STEM,” said Dr. Pal. “Demographic trends require this national effort to strengthen the workforce by drawing on the minds and talents of all our domestic population. Our goal is to bridge the gap between expectation and reality.”

The award will be available from February 15, 2011 through January 31, 2014.

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