Science Foundation Funds Florida Tech-led Scholarships
By Adam Lowenstein, Florida Tech News Bureau // October 5, 2014
National Science Foundation Grant Worth More Than $610,000 Over the Next Five Years
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – A Florida Institute of Technology proposal to use scholarships to boost the number of students studying the critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics discipline of engineering has received a National Science Foundation grant worth more than $610,000 over the next five years.
Led by principal investigator Ashok Pandit, a professor and head of the civil engineering department at Florida Tech’s College of Engineering, the newly funded proposal, “Growing the Community College Pipeline for Careers in Civil, Chemical, and Ocean Engineering through the FITS-STEM Program” will provide eligible community and state college students from across the country one or two years of scholarships worth up to $10,000 per year when they transfer to Florida Tech to study civil, chemical or ocean engineering.
Florida Tech partnered with Eastern Florida State College and Indian River State College on the project.
“The purpose of this project is to respond to the need for additional graduates in one of the STEM fields, as well as the need to train engineers to work as a team to generate multi-disciplinary, sustainable solutions to problems impacting the quality of life,” Pandit said.
He said the project also could help spur a push among community and state college students to enter STEM fields.
Co-principal investigators are Manolis Tomadakis, professor and head of chemical engineering and John Windsor, professor and associate head of marine and environmental systems, both at Florida Tech; Mevlut Guvendik, chair of engineering programs at Eastern Florida; and Gary Koser, chair of engineering programs at Indian River.
The Florida Tech offices of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, Career Management Services, Academic Support Center and Institutional Research also supported the project.
Transfer students will be selected for the scholarship program based on a number of factors, including grade point average, financial need, memberships in student, organizations and honor societies, faculty recommendations, attendance at Florida Tech’s special campus events, such as Laser Day and Discovery Day, and community service.
They will also be asked to write an essay highlighting career objectives and interest in STEM fields.
Students participating in this program will be provided with opportunities to conduct social and professional networking with peers, engage in student club activities, carry out multi-disciplinary, sustainability-related research and design projects, and receive enhanced academic support in advanced courses.