by Gerri Marroquin

University of West Georgia’s Dr. Satyanarayana Swamy-Mruthinti has received a $250,000 Georgia Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) grant from the National Science Foundation, providing 16 scholarships to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students in underrepresented minorities. 

Flanked by students to his left and right, Dr. Satyanarayana Swamy-Mruthinti poses with a UWG gift mug“Underrepresented minorities are intelligent, hard working, and eager to succeed,” Mruthinti said. “However, they need a mentor and a role model to achieve their potential. The goal is to provide the support structure for underrepresented minority students to succeed and achieve their career goals.”

UWG is part of a nine-member alliance of colleges and universities across Georgia and Alabama. These colleges and universities have shared a portion of the total $3.5 million awarded by the foundation in 2013, which expires in 2018. UWG’s portions provide minority STEM students with scholarships of $2,000 per year. 

“Even though UWG’s participation is relatively new compared to other alliances, there is a great chance for renewal based on the progress we have made so far,” Mruthinti said. 

Mruthinti has been the campus coordinator for GA-AL LSAMP grant for four years. His involvement began in 2012 when the lead institution of the GA-AL LSAMP expanded its alliance partners. As coordinator, Mruthinti recruits qualified students, works with faculty mentors and is the liaison with other alliance partners. 

Since 2013, UWG has awarded LSAMP scholarships to more than 50 students. Recipients of the scholarships must maintain high academic standards and are required to participate in faculty-mentored research, as students with research experience have a higher chance of succeeding in graduate and professional schools.

“Research is an integral part of all STEM disciplines,” Mruthinti said. “Hands-on experience under the guidance of a faculty mentor is essential in understanding the nuances of scientific research.” 

The LSAMP program assists universities and colleges in their efforts to transform undergraduate STEM education through innovative, evidence-based recruitment and retention strategies. Its main focus is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing graduate and professional degrees, thus increasing diversity in the STEM workforce.

Posted on December 19, 2016