Hollins University has been awarded a grant of $999,998 from the National Science Foundation Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (NSF S-STEM) to educate the next generation of diverse, highly skilled leaders in the STEM workforce.
Grant funds will support the development and implementation of Hollins’ Artemis Scholarship Program for Women in STEM, which is named for the Greek goddess of the hunt and signifies the pursuit of knowledge and acknowledges NASA’s Artemis mission to land the first woman and first person of color on the moon.
Hollins’ Artemis Scholarship Program is for undergraduates majoring in biology, environmental science, chemistry, and mathematics. “The NSF grant will be used primarily to fully cover unmet financial need for high-achieving, academically talented Artemis scholars, providing each with a full cost of attendance scholarship to Hollins University,” said Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Mary Jane Carmichael, the principal investigator for the initiative. “Importantly, the grant also will strengthen relationships among the Artemis scholars, the faculty, alumnae/i, and the scientific community, promoting greater career awareness and opportunities and providing leadership skills development.”
Carmichael attributes the success of the NSF S-STEM grant application to the active involvement of current Hollins STEM students. “In January of last year, 70 undergraduates who were enrolled in one or more STEM classes at Hollins voluntarily participated in surveys and focus discussions with faculty to provide information about what is working well for them and to identify areas in which they feel they need additional support to strengthen their educational pursuits,” Carmichael said. “At its heart, the Artemis Scholarship program is a student-centered initiative. Our team designed the project, using the students’ contributions, to increase access to resources and mentorship to help each scholar navigate successfully the pipeline from matriculation, to graduation, to the workforce. Current Hollins students will have access to the network of support that the Artemis program will build, and Hollins is committed to the implementation of the program’s initiatives beyond the grant period. This award has the potential to be transformative for Artemis scholars and the Hollins STEM program, and will prepare strong, diverse leaders to fill critical gaps in the STEM workforce.”
Carmichael also credited faculty and staff in Hollins’ Natural Sciences and Mathematics academic division for their support. She particularly cited the work of Professor of Chemistry Dan Derringer; Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science Molly Lynch; Associate Vice President of Student Success Michael Gettings; Associate Provost and Professor of Religious Studies Darla Schumm; Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Kaila Thorn; Berry Professor of Spanish Alison Ridley; Nora Kizer Bell Provost Laura McLary; and former Director of Strategic Academic Initiatives Rebecca Halsey for their multi-year dedication to guiding this idea to a funded project and for their commitment to its implementation.
“Because of Hollins’ student-centered focus and attention to student success, the university is the perfect incubator for work that supports the mission of the National Science Foundation’s S-STEM goals. We are excited to have the Artemis Scholarship Program and look forward to the transformational experience that it will provide for our scholars. The first scholarships will be awarded to students in the 2024-25 academic year, and we plan to focus our recruitment efforts in local high schools” said Carmichael.