UTEP Awarded Grant to Increase Student Retention in STEM Fields

The University of Texas at El Paso has been awarded a $578,162 grant by the National Science Foundation to fund the Student Mentoring to Achieve Retention: Triads in Science (SMARTS) program. The grant will support the program’s focus to improve the retention of undergraduate students in their majors by providing increased access to educational and research training activities within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

“The goal is to increase the number of undergraduates that are well prepared to pursue advanced degrees in the sciences, and allow graduate students to mentor and train these students,” said Renato Aguilera, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences and principle investigator of the grant along with Lourdes Echegoyen, Ph.D., director of the Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives (COURI). “Our proposed project lies at the heart of UTEP’s mission to provide access and excellence.”

The SMARTS Program will provide funding and resources for teams consisting of a faculty member, a graduate student and an undergraduate student from the College of Science who will engage in STEM-related projects.