Texas Woman’s University received a grant from Lyda Hill philanthropies that will allow students from nearby community colleges to participate in a one-day program on the TWU campus to work with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduate students and mentors in a research lab.
Lyda Hill philanthropies is a Dallas-based organization dedicated to funding advances in science and technologies and improving Texas and Colorado communities.
“Lyda Hill Philanthropies is committed to supporting advancements in science and helping students further their education in STEM,” said Lyda Hill, entrepreneur and founder of the organization. “We are proud to work with Texas Woman’s University, Dallas College, North Central Texas College, and Tarrant County College in this effort and look forward to seeing the success these talented students have in their careers in STEM.”
The grant will allow 100 STEM majors to work in research labs on the university’s campus. Ten students will be selected to participate in a two-week paid internship where they will have the opportunity to present their research at the end of the internship. STEM disciplines supported by the project include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, computer sciences, and mathematics.
“Studies demonstrate that getting students into research labs and working with faculty on STEM research makes it more likely that they will want to continue their STEM education, either at the bachelor’s level or in graduate school,” said Juliet V. Spencer, head of the School of the Sciences at TWU and one of five TWU professors and administrators leading the project.
The initiative will also include robust, multi-year tracking of students who complete their college educations, as well as scholarship support for at least seven program participants who transfer to TWU to complete their undergraduate STEM degrees. TWU’s goal is to use data from this pilot project to help it scale the program across Texas in subsequent years.
“TWU has developed outstanding relationships with local community colleges over the years, and we are proud to be able to collaborate with three of them to increase an interest in four-year STEM education,” said Texas Woman’s Chancellor Carine M. Feyten. “We are honored that Lyda Hill Philanthropies, a national leader in STEM funding, has chosen to support this groundbreaking project.”
The project aligns with TWU’s current strategic plan, which seeks to double the number of STEM opportunities on campus as a top priority. With the most diverse student body among Texas public universities, as well as a student body that is 89% women, TWU is positioned to support students from groups underrepresented in science who wish to pursue STEM careers.
“North Central Texas College is excited to build upon years of successful partnership with Texas Woman’s University to provide this opportunity for our students to explore careers in the fast-growing STEM fields,” said Brent Wallace, chancellor of North Central Texas College.
TWU found success with a smaller program they launched earlier this year that included 24 students from Dallas college. They participated in a one-day learning opportunity that included a visit to the STEM labs on the TWU Denton campus and learned about STEM research. Two of these students were chosen for a two week internship on campus.