A nearly $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will provide four-year scholarships for 14 students studying biology at Reinhardt University, officials said.

The grant funds the Supporting Pathways to Success for Biology Scholars program from the NSF. The scholarships are awarded based on need and merit.

“Reinhardt University is delighted to receive the National Science Foundation grant, ‘Pathways to Success for Biology Scholars,’ which will focus on retention efforts in the critical area of the biological scientists,” said Dr. Jacob Harney, interim provost. “The grant, spearheaded by Dr. Irma Santoro, will provide our biology students with problem-based learning opportunities, mentoring experiences, undergraduate research opportunities and career guidance.”

The grant was awarded from the NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. The grant provides colleges and universities a way to pay for scholarships for those in need of financial assistance who are interested in pursuing degrees in STEM fields.

“We applied for the grant to find a way to support so many of our talented biology students that consistently struggle with affording their tuition and earning their bachelor’s degrees,” said Santoro, associate professor of biology. “We also applied for the grant to be able to provide our students majoring in biology further dedicated academic support for success in our biology program, and opportunity to provide enhanced career guidance opportunities.”

Santoro believes the scholarships awarded will promote self-efficacy in students.

“Student scholars accepted into the program will be provided with a transformative educational experience that will allow them to engage in cohort-building activities to help ensure success throughout their years at Reinhardt University,” she said.

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