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UTEP Receives $1 Million Grant to Help Minorities Earn Doctorates

Engineering Building
Engineering Building
Photo courtesy of UTEP
The University of Texas at El Paso has been awarded nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to help students earn doctorates in science, technology, engineering or mathematics in an effort to bolster the number of minorities with graduate degrees in these disciplines.

The $987,000 award will fund UTEP’s Bridge to the Doctorate program, which is part of The University of Texas System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. The award will support 12 students pursuing graduate degrees. Under the program, students will each receive a $30,000 stipend a year for two years plus funding to help cover tuition and related cost-of-education expenses.

“Nationwide, the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing STEM doctoral degrees is extremely low. The grant gives UTEP a great opportunity to make a significant contribution in this area,” said electrical and computer engineering professor Dr. Benjamin Flores, the grant’s primary investigator. “Right now, UTEP graduates one of every five Hispanic Ph.D.s in STEM disciplines in the University of Texas System. Our goal is to double this statistic.”

To be selected, students must be alumni of the undergraduate portion of the Alliance for Minority Participation program. Students were selected this summer and will begin or continue their studies at UTEP this fall.

UTEP has participated in the Bridge to the Doctorate program since 2002, providing 22 students the financial support to succeed in earning their graduate degrees. This year’s 12 students will comprise the third cohort to pursue doctoral degrees at UTEP under the program.

“This grant allows us to support some of the students we worked with as undergraduates,” Flores said. “It helps us continue that pipeline of Hispanic and African American Ph.D.s.”

– Kimberly Miller

Horizons Online News. Citing Internet Resources. [Online], June 17, 2008.