By Jordan Beach 

Reinhardt University will be able to better support its biology students with a $649,464 grant from the National Science Foundation. 

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The grant serves to fund the Supporting Pathways to Success for Biology Scholars program from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The scholarship program offers a four-year scholarship to 14 qualified, high-achieving Reinhardt students earning bachelor’s degrees in the biological sciences. 

“Reinhardt University is delighted to receive the National Science Foundation grant, ‘Pathways to Success for Biology Scholars,’ which will focus on retention efforts in the critical area of the biological scientists,” said Dr. Jacob Harney, interim provost. “The grant, spearheaded by Dr. Irma Santoro, will provide our biology students with problem-based learning opportunities, mentoring experiences, undergraduate research opportunities and career guidance.” 

The grant was awarded from the NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. The grant provides higher education institutions a way to fund scholarships for those in need of financial assistance who are interested in pursuing degrees in STEM fields. 

“We applied for the grant to find a way to support so many of our talented biology students that consistently struggle with affording their tuition and earning their bachelor’s degrees,” said Dr. Irma Santoro, associate professor of biology. “We also applied for the grant to be able to provide our students majoring in biology further dedicated academic support for success in our biology program, and opportunity to provide enhanced career guidance opportunities.” 

Santoro believes the scholarships awarded will promote self-efficacy in students. 

“Student scholars accepted into the program will be provided with a transformative educational experience that will allow them to engage in cohort-building activities  to help ensure success throughout their years at Reinhardt University.” 

The goal of the Supporting Pathways to Success for Biology Scholars program is to prepare a cohort of highly talented STEM students, reflective of diverse populations in the United States, to become leaders of tomorrow.