Grant to reinforce STEM program

Staff report

Defiance College was recently awarded a $2.196 million Title III Strengthening Institutions Program Grant that will focus on reinforcing the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs on campus.

This competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Education is one of the largest Defiance College has ever received. “We are thrilled to have been awarded this grant. It presents a fantastic opportunity for Defiance College and truly strengthens our institution as we move ahead,” President Dr. Richanne C. Mankey said.

Dr. Mankey congratulated the individuals she said put forward considerable effort to help attain the grant: Mary Ann Studer, dean of the McMaster School; Dr. Agnes Caldwell, vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. Robert Detwiler, registrar; Lisa Crumit-Hancock, assistant dean of Student Success; Sally Bissell, director of the Institute for Career Readiness and Lifelong Learning; and Dr. Fred Coulter, associate professor of Christian Education.

The first installment of $432,000 will be available this fall, with immediate implementation of the grant. A new STEM research hub, furnished with modern steel case fixtures, will be created to give students a dedicated space to collaborate with faculty on research.

Beginning in the summer of 2021, 10 Defiance College students will have the opportunity to conduct paid research with STEM faculty. The grant allows for the research opportunities to continue through the college’s 175th anniversary celebration of 2025.

The Title III grant will fund several new job openings in the college community. It will include the addition of a dedicated director to oversee the soon-to-be-formed science and math tutoring center. While the grant’s focus is on strengthening DC’s STEM programs, there are a number of additional components that will impact students campus-wide. Four classrooms will be transformed into active learning classrooms with a focus on improving the learning experience through better use of technology and classroom configuration. Faculty development will be a focus to ensure Defiance College faculty continue teaching effectively and creatively.

The college will also enhance programming that supports academic growth and student career readiness through integrated work-based learning across all majors.

“We had already implemented a nationally-unique career program with Jacket Journey, and the Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow us to grow this program in ways we might not have expected,” Dr. Caldwell said.

Staff report