$2M grant to benefit students in fields of science, technology

Ben Wolford

As part of the University System of Ohio’s Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program, Kent State and partner institutions will receive a $2 million grant to help recruit and train students in science-related fields.

The award, announced June 26, will be used at least partly for scholarships to students in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – though the budget has not yet been created.

“We know at this point only the bulk sum,” said Arne Gericke, associate professor of chemistry, who will oversee operations of the program.

Along with all of Kent State’s campuses, Cuyahoga Community College, Lakeland Community College, Lorain Community College and Stark State College of Technology are partners in the award.

“Part of the program with Choose Ohio First is to target students in the STEM areas,” said John West, vice president of research and dean of graduate studies.

He said increasing student numbers, however, is only part of the greater goal of initiating research and building a core of scientists, doctors and engineers in Ohio.

“It’s more than having students in the classrooms,” West said. “It’s a seamless transition from education to research. The whole effort is to . build that pool of talent.”

Kent State was selected as a lead institution among others that competed for part of the $50 million the Board of Regents allocated for the project, according to the University System of Ohio Web site.

Kent State already received money from the Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program in a first round of award announcements.

As part of a joint proposal with Cleveland State University, Kent State received “$846,000 to distribute in scholarships over the next four years,” wrote Jenya Soprunova, assistant professor of mathematics, in an e-mail.

She said those scholarships range from $1,500 to $4,700, and they expect to award 18 to 20 of them each year.

Contact principal reporter Ben Wolford at [email protected].