California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB Receives NSF Grant for Science Student Scholarships

Published: July 15, 2010

High school and community college students who are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry, geology or mathematics can benefit from a new scholarship program at CSULB funded by the National Science Foundation.

Four departments in CSULB’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) will participate in the Physical Science and Mathematics Scholarship (PSMS) program, whose goal is to encourage more university students from lower socioeconomic groups to study science. Physics Professor Chuhee Kwon is the principal investigator (PI), along with Professors Paul Buonora of chemistry and biochemistry, Lora Stevens of geological sciences and Jen-Mei Chang of mathematics and statistics as co-PIs.

The project received an initial $70,167 of a proposed total of $593,450 over five years. Four freshmen, who will be referred to as PSMS starters, and four juniors, who will be called PSMS scholars, will be chosen for the 2010-11 academic year, said Kwon. The program expects to eventually grow to 16 students per year, four in each department.

Applicants must qualify for federal financial aid and the PSMS scholarship will become part of those funds. Kwon said the average scholarship is expected to be around $6,400 per year per student.

Students will participate in cohorts, or groups who enroll at the same time, and will take certain classes as well as study together. They also will receive academic advising, tutoring and other supplementary education to help improve their academic skills. Moreover, their families will be invited to participate in special events.

NSF logo

The four professors will work with other CSULB faculty and programs including CNSM’s Jensen Student Access to Science and Mathematics (SAS) Center, which provides student support activities and advising. The scholarships will be publicized on campus as well as to students at area high schools and community colleges.

Cal State Long Beach is recognized for the quality of its science programs. Students have the opportunity to participate in faculty research projects, including becoming co-authors of research journal articles and presenters at science conferences. The National Science Foundation ranked CSULB among the top master’s-level universities whose graduates go on to earn doctorates in science and engineering.

For more information about the Physical Science and Mathematics Scholarship program, visit www.csulb.edu/~jchang9/psms/ or contact Kwon at 562/985-4855, ckwon@csulb.edu; or the Jensen SAS Center at 562/985-4682.

–Anne Ambrose