Campus: Northridge -- August 9, 2006

CSUN Receives Nearly $2 Million Grant to Support Students Considering Math, Sciences Majors

Cal State Northridge has received nearly $2 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide support for students considering careers in the sciences.

Specifically, the $1.9 million, four-year grant from the NIH's Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement program will provide funding for programs designed to enhance the mathematical and writing skills of underrepresented students as well as opportunities to work alongside faculty doing research.

"This is really a student-focused grant that provides funding for programs that will give these students the skills to be successful in college and give them an opportunity to get hands-on experience doing research which will hopefully encourage them to consider careers in the sciences," said Northridge biology professor MariaElena Zavala, director of the project.

Among the programs the grant will support is one that targets freshmen studying the sciences. The program offers a summer institute where the students receive additional tutoring in math and writing to prepare them for the coming year.

Other programs target lower-division and upper-division students interested in biomedical careers. It provides them with opportunities to do research alongside faculty at the campus, whether they are lower-division or upper-division. There also is a program that offers support for graduate students.

"The idea is to provide these kids with mentors all the way through school, from their freshmen year through getting their master's degrees," Zavala said. "We want to show them the possibilities there are out there for them and get them excited about careers in the sciences."

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130

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