Wright State University and Sinclair Community College have jointly received a $2 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (commonly called "STEM").

The two institutions will develop a common first-year science, technology, engineering and mathematics program with the goal of a 10 percent increase in both first- to second-year retention of STEM majors at both institutions, and in transfer majors from Sinclair to Wright State in these areas, according to Dr. Michele Wheatly, dean of Wright State's College of Science and Mathematics.

Many Wright State and Sinclair students are first-generation college students who are under-prepared, as is often the case at colleges and universities around the country. Wheatly says the grant will also enhance the education of women, minorities and students with disabilities.
Aside from keeping students in college through graduation, there's another possible retention benefit: Keeping more of these STEM graduates in the Cincinnati-Dayton metro area, where their skills should be in increasing demand among employers. Having more graduates in these fields stick around helps make the region more attractive to companies considering relocating or expanding here.

Miami University's Farmer School of Business was ranked 13th nationally among programs offered by public universities and colleges in Business Week magazine's second annual survey of the best undergraduate business programs in the U.S. Farmer was rated 35th overall, the best rating of any Ohio university.

The University of Cincinnati's Division of Criminal Justice is contributing expertise to the new Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV), a program approved and funded by Cincinnati City Council. A key CIRV component will be adapting strategies developed by Professor David Kennedy, who was director of the Boston Gun Project while at Harvard University. UC Associate Professor Robin Engel and Professor John Eck, who serve on the criminal justice faculty and in the UC Policing Institute, will work with Kennedy and a leading local CIRV proponent, Dr. Victor Garcia, director of Trauma Services at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. "When I first heard of the 'Boston Miracle,' I was dubious about its effectiveness," Eck admits. "I became convinced that it did reduce killings, and could work in Cincinnati, after reviewing the evidence from its application in other cities. This is the only homicide-reduction strategy that has been repeatedly tested and found to be repeatedly successful."

John Surdick, professor of accountancy, has been named the Bishop Fenwick Teacher of the Year by the Xavier chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society. A resident of Anderson Township, he has been teaching at Xavier since 1986. The award is given to a professor who impacts a wide range of students.

The Science and Technology Enhancement Program (STEP) at the University of Cincinnati was selected by the National Science Foundation as one of only 15 university programs showcased in Washington, D.C., to exemplify the value of NSF funding. STEP helps science, engineering and technology university students bring their experiences and knowledge into the classroom to become educators. The program fellows take U.S. expertise to the world and bring worldly experience to classrooms. STEP Fellow Sarah Pumphrey, for example, has traveled to Tanzania to study how to make drinking water available to students in a local school on a daily basis. She then worked within the Cincinnati Public and Northern Kentucky Schools to bring that knowledge to the students.

Strive! recently announced that the Cincinnati Pathways collaboration between University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Technical & Community College will help students complete their bachelor's degrees. Cincinnati State graduates with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher are guaranteed admission into many UC programs; others require a 3.0 average. Those with a 3.5 or higher average will receive a $2,100 annual scholarship. The initiative is open to Cincinnati State graduates within the past two years, as well as future graduates.

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