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Georgia Perimeter awarded science grants

COVINGTON -- Students studying science and math around the state may benefit from two grants at Georgia Perimeter College.

The college announced Thursday that the National Science Foundation has awarded GPC a five-year, $598,000 Educate and Nurture Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math grant.

It will provide 32 GPC students who pursue degrees in engineering, computer science, biology, math, chemistry, physics or geology scholarships of $2,000 to $5,000 per year. The scholarships are based on each student's needs after other financial aid has been exhausted. The grant also provides support services for these students.

"The goal is to remove financial barriers to student success and provide support," said Marjorie Lewkowicz, GPC math professor. "For example, as freshmen, participants will receive ongoing intensive advisement and will meet with a faculty mentor on a bi-weekly basis. During the sophomore year, the focus will be on transfer advising. A major objective of the ENLISTEM program is to ensure that participants transfer to a four-year institution to continue on to a baccalaureate degree once they graduate from GPC."

The ENLISTEM grant is the second grant GPC has secured this year to aid in the retention and advancement of students seeking STEM-related majors. Earlier, GPC was awarded a one-year $310,000 grant from the University System of Georgia to help fund GPC's Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement Club and also provides mini-grants that instructors can use to fund special classroom projects. This grant also allowed GPC to hire an executive-level administrator to coordinate all the college's STEM initiatives.

"These two STEM grants, from the National Science Foundation and the University System of Georgia, help make Georgia Perimeter College a first-choice college for students seeking careers in the sciences and technology," said GPC President Dr. Anthony S. Tricoli. "We're the top transfer institution in the USG with Transfer Admission Guarantees to more than 40 four-year colleges and universities in Georgia and beyond."

Additionally, the National Science Foundation has renewed a five-year, $4.9 million Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation grant that Georgia Perimeter College shares with six other University System of Georgia institutions.

The grant supports special programs and initiatives to increase the number of minority students graduating from college with STEM degrees.

The new grant includes two new LSAMP participants -- Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University -- which join the five colleges that were 2005 participants: Fort Valley State University, Savannah State University, Southern Polytechnic State University, the University of Georgia and Georgia Perimeter. All LSAMP partners collaborate on projects, presentations and instruction that prepare African Americans, Hispanic Americans and other underrepresented minorities for careers in STEM-related fields.

"By working with students from other institutions, GPC students realize they're competitive with the best in the state," said Margaret Major, GPC associate professor of biology and director of the college's LSAMP program.

Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves more than 25,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta, including the Newton Campus.