Nineteen students are enrolled at USM this fall thanks to an NSF grant that allowed the implementation of a program, which awards scholarships of up to $5,000 per year per student. When fully implemented, it will improve educational opportunities for up to 41 incoming USM freshmen and community college transfer students.
"This NSF support has opened up new opportunities for deserving Maine students who want to study the sciences, technology, engineering or math," said Dr. Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh, USM's associate vice president for research, scholarship, and creative activity, and professor of environmental science.
The scholarships are made possible with a $592,000 grant from the NSF STEM Scholarship Program. The students must be Maine residents, meet academic and financial criteria, and plan on pursuing careers in the fields of computer science, engineering, environmental science, and technology management.
A portion of the $592,000 will support 20 first-time students during their freshmen and sophomore years. A total of $200,000 in USM scholarship funds will then support these students during their junior and senior years.
The NSF scholarship funds also will support 21 community college transfer students at USM for up to three years.
USM's partner high schools in the scholarship program include Casco Bay, Deering and Portland High Schools in Portland, South Portland High School and Bonny Eagle High School in Standish. The partnership also includes Central Maine, Southern Maine and York County Community Colleges.