Farmingdale State College was awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to bring minority PhD students in STEM fields to the university. Farmingdale professors will mentor the students as teaching assistants with the goal of eventually hiring them full-time.
In addition to funds for faculty stipends, the grant has a significant budget for investing in new technology to bolster the university’s teaching practices.
Dr. Erwin Cabrera, associate director of the school’s RAM (Research Aligned Mentorship) program, says Farmingdale will work with Suffolk County Community College and Stony Brook University to provide opportunities to minority students in STEM programs that have been underrepresented historically. The RAM program pairs students with a mentor for research projects, strengthening students’ resumes and providing valuable networking opportunities to increase their job prospects after graduating.
“It is important that as one of the fastest-growing public colleges in the country, we at Farmingdale State College take charge in making a change,” Dr. Cabrera said in a statement. “By building a pipeline program for prospective underrepresented minority faculty to be exposed to the FSC academic culture, this ultimately will create a mechanism for potentially hiring these scholars that have already been integrated into the campus community, making that transition seamless.”
In addition to making an impact locally, Dr. Cabrera said he hopes the project will serve as a model for schools around the country.