Written by Phil Cerroni
Thirty-eight students have been named spring 2013 scholars for the Dallas County Community College District's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Institute by the DCCCD Foundation. The program focuses on retaining and encouraging top students among the seven colleges of DCCCD who are pursuing STEM-related majors; it also helps them to transfer seamlessly to four-year undergraduate degree programs in their fields.
Established as a pilot program in 2009, the program involves a total of 80 students who are participating in the DCCCD STEM Institute during the 2012-13 academic year. The institute provides students with a cash stipend, personalized faculty mentoring, help with negotiating their transfer to a four-year institution plus extracurricular research and internship opportunities. Students participate in industry- and career-related seminars throughout the year, as well as an annual STEM summit that has featured internationally renowned speakers such as ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau and astronaut Dr. Mary Ellen Weber.
The program’s numbers exceed state and national averages for student success and completion: a combined 89 percent of last year’s STEM scholars graduated with an associate degree, transferred to a four-year institution or are still enrolled in one of the system's individually accredited colleges.
“The greatest driver of economic development in our community will be the quality and education of our workforce,” Hunter L. Hunt, who chairs the STEM Initiative for DCCCD’s Campaign for Excellence said. “With more than 700,000 jobs in STEM industries forecast for Texas by 2018, these STEM scholars hold the key to the future success of our region.”
The 2012 spring semester’s STEM Institute scholars from North Lake College, their intended majors and hometowns are:
Madhu Gautam, mathematics, Irving
Osaid Jaffery, mechanical engineering, Irving
Uyen Ngo, mathematics, Irving
Armin Riazlan, electrical engineering, Irving
Christian Smith, electrical engineering, Irving
Landon Swalberg, mathematics, Waxahachie
Source: Dallas County Community College District