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UTEP receives $7 million grant to elevate Hispanic student success in STEM

EL PASO, TX (KVIA) -- The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has been chosen to become a center for thought leadership in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) nationwide. This comes after a $7 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was awarded to the university. 

The grant, known as NODE (Network Opportunities for Developing Equitable and Effective Evaluation at HSIs), stands as a six-year investment aimed at positioning UTEP as a leader in evaluating and enhancing programs designed to support Hispanic students pursuing STEM fields.

One of the key objectives of this grant is to enable UTEP to provide essential tools not only for its own campus but also for HSIs across the country. These tools will help assess the effectiveness of programs in aiding Hispanic students in their pursuit of excellence in science.

Leading this initiative is Dr. Anne-Marie Núñez, the executive director of the Diana Natalicio Institute for Hispanic Student Success. Dr. Núñez, along with co-principal investigators Azuri Gonzalez, Ed.D., and Amy Wagler, Ph.D., will research ways to strengthen the programs nationwide. 

Another outcome of the grant will be the establishment of the Hispanic-Serving Institution Center for Evaluation and Research Synthesis (HSI-CERS) at UTEP, a one of a kind initiative in the country.

UTEP President Heather Wilson expressed her enthusiasm, stating, "As America's leading Hispanic-serving University, we look forward to expanding the impact UTEP has on Hispanic student success across the country.”

Through the NODE grant, UTEP will pioneer evaluation and research approaches aimed at assessing how past, current, and future NSF HSI-funded programs serve Hispanic and other minority students in STEM fields.

In addition to the NODE grant, UTEP will play a significant role in coordinating another $7 million grant awarded by the NSF. This initiative focuses on building community and collaborations among current and potential HSI awardees. The grant, known as The UNIDOS Network Resource Center for Community Coordination (HSI-CCC), will be led by Florida International University, with UTEP, Valencia College, California State University, Sacramento, and the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras serving as co-principal investigators.

UTEP stands alone as the only university involved in the leadership of both of these groundbreaking NSF investments, totaling a $14 million commitment to HSIs.

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Isabella Martinez


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