NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Iona College has been awarded a nearly $650,000 grant to enhance its offerings in STEM education – classes preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math, according to a statement from the school.
The grant, awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), will allow Iona to create a program it will call DESIRE – Development of Excellence in Science through Intervention, Resilience and Enrichment – according to the school.
The program will allow Iona to “support students with financial need and high academic aptitude” through scholarships targeted at chemistry and computer science majors, according to the school.
Through DESIRE, the school will begin recruiting new, academically talented students with significant financial need and enhance its methods to promote the critical thinking and problem solving skills needed by STEM students to integrate the five dimensions for success in STEM fields: academic, professional, interpersonal, intrapersonal and intercultural, according to the school.
DESIRE also will aim to support retention in STEM, degree completion and the professional success of Iona DESIRE scholars, the school said.
"I am very excited that this award will allow us to recruit, support and retain academically capable, but financially needy students,” said Sunghee Lee, an Iona College Board of Trustees endowed professor and chair of Chemistry. “… We hope our program will provide an exemplary model that can be adapted to many other higher education disciplines and demonstrate successful STEM graduates.”
Lubomir Ivanov, a computer science professor at Iona who worked alongside a host of other faculty members to obtain the grant, agreed, adding that the STEM grants represent “an outstanding opportunity” for eager scholars.
“The students will engage in cutting-edge research on faculty-led interdisciplinary projects, which have the potential to further scientific knowledge and to benefit people everywhere,” Ivanov said.