The number and diversity of U-M students graduating with degrees in science, engineering and mathematics will increase significantly through a cross-campus effort funded by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The five-year grant will establish the M-STEM Academies at U-M, which will expand current efforts to attract a more diverse group of undergraduates into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

"This cross-university effort is highly unusual for a large, decentralized institution such as Michigan, and indicates the high level of shared support and commitment for this effort," said Deborah Goldberg, principal investigator on the grant and chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The academies will increase the number of undergraduates with degrees in STEM fields by creating a support system for students with high ability and potential in science, but who might not otherwise be successful at a large, highly competitive research university.

The program will provide students with a pre-freshman-year summer program; academic year coaching; personal, professional and academic development workshops; incentive stipends; and undergraduate research opportunities.

"Essentially, it's a high-school-to-college transition program," said Cinda-Sue Davis, co-principal investigator on the grant and director of U-M's Women in Science and Engineering program. "We'd like to eventually expand it into the third and fourth years, but at the moment it's conceived as a two-year program."

M-Stem Academies will expand on a highly successful College of Engineering program, the M-STEM Academy, and the more recent M-Bio Academy, which covers the biological sciences in LSA and includes the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.

The M-STEM Academies will include these existing efforts and will expand to the rest of the natural science and mathematics departments in LSA: astronomy, biophysics, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, mathematics, physics and statistics.

Co-faculty directors of M-STEM Academies are Goldberg and Joanna Millunchick, professor of materials science and engineering at CoE.

Full article in University Record

Captions: Top: students in an M-Bio lab. Bottom: Elzada U. Clover Collegiate Professor and Chair Deborah Goldberg, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.