UMES to receive $500,000 federal grant

  • Saturday, August 25, 2012

    $500,000 in Federal Funds to Help Prepare Students for Science and Innovation Jobs

    WASHINGTON - (Aug. 22, 2012) - Barbara A. Mikulskiand Ben Cardin, Maryland's two U.S. senators, announced today the University of Maryland Eastern Shore has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to prepare high school students for undergraduate and advanced degrees that lead to careers in geosciences. 

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    "These funds in the federal check book are about preparing our students here in Maryland for the jobs of today and ... tomorrow," said Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which funds the NSF. 

    "Science is the key to innovation and innovation creates new products and new jobs," Mikulski said. "These federal dollars will help engage Maryland's students in science and innovation and set them on the path to fill jobs of the future."

    Cardin called the grant "an important investment in science education and in our State's future. It will enable UMES to reach out to high school students so they understand and appreciate the important career opportunities that exist in the highly specialized field of geoscience, a career path that can make a difference to our nation."

    News of the award came on the same day UMES' Class of 2016 moved into residence halls.

    "It's a great way to start the new academic year," UMES President Juliette B. Bell said. "And it fits nicely with one of our goals as a university to encourage future college students to consider science as an exciting career choice."

    The grant came to UMES through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Paulinus Chigbu, Dr. Reza Khanbilvardi and Dr. Ali Ishaque, according to Moses Kairo, UMES' new dean of agriculture and natural sciences.

    "I commend Dr. Chigbu and his colleagues for being the recipients of this generous federal grant," said Bell, who trained as a biochemist. 

    These new federal dollars will enable UMES to establish a "Network of Cooperative Science Centers and High Schools for Training High School Students in Geosciences." The program involves outreach to high school students, including presentations to high school juniors and seniors, about career opportunities in marine biology, oceanography, atmospheric sciences and remote sensing.

    The grant also funds a six-week summer program for 13 high school seniors entering college and exposes them to the skills they will need to succeed in geosciences careers.

    Chigbu, an environmental science professor who also is the director of the Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology, is one of UMES' most productive researchers and is responsible for attracting millions of dollars in grants to the university. In 2010, he received confirmation UMES qualified for a $5 million NSF grant now being used to underwrite the search for the causes of poor water quality in coastal bays along the Delmarva Peninsula's Atlantic coast.

    From the offices of Sens. Mikulski, Cardin and UMES public relations.