Published on March 17, 2021 by Sean Flynt  
STEM Scholars
Edgar Flores, Itzel Mendoza and John-Anthony Jimenez are among the many STEM Scholars who have graduated since 2015.

Samford University’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $1 Million to continue the university's STEM Scholars program, which helps academically talented and financially-at-risk transfer students from local community colleges complete Samford degrees in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. The program also seeks to increase the participation of underrepresented and underserved groups in STEM careers. 

The program, created in 2015 with an initial NSF grant, offers academic and career mentoring, the support of a student cohort, and $20,000 or more in scholarship aid per year for each student.

“The STEM Scholars program is deeply invested in helping transfer students meet their personal, educational, and career objectives,” said Samford biology professor Betsy Dobbins, director of the program. That investment has made a significant impact in the lives of the scholars.  “Our STEM students are amazing!” Dobbins said. “Over 80% graduate on time, and almost all of the graduates have gone on to graduate school or to careers in their field.”

Dobbins said the program has served 27 students so far, and will admit 10 more per year for the next four years.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.