California State University, San Bernardino, in partnership with College of the Desert in Palm Desert, has received a grant from NASA to help strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs at the two institutions.
CSUSB is one of four universities that will receive $450,000 as its share of NASA grants awarded to institutions and their partners that serve large numbers of minority and underrepresented students to strengthen programs in the STEM fields.
The NASA grant will help Cal State San Bernardino and COD develop curricula that reflect new ideas in scientific thought, cutting edge research and modern educational methods. Students majoring in computer engineering and the applied physics will especially benefit from the grant as it will provide them an opportunity for paid research internships.
Additionally, the resources will help establish a more seamless transition for STEM students transferring from COD to CSUSB. It also will bolster and expand the existing relationship between the university and NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.
Timothy Usher, CSUSB professor of physics and principal investigator of the grant, said the grant is provided through NASA’s Curriculum Improvement Partnership Award for the Integration of Research project.
“The synergy of student experience, faculty and student involvement in the enrichment and application to external programs is a key part of the success of this proposal,” said Usher. “The enrichment experience will occur over the COD’s winter break, coinciding with the application period for most of these national programs. Each student may apply for at least three programs.”
At least 24 two-year college students will participate in a four-week intensive enrichment experience designed to motivate and increase their confidence, while making them more competitive for national student cooperative education, internships and other NASA research programs.
After the intersession experience, two students will be selected to participate in a 10-week summer research internship at NASA Dryden alongside Alec M. Sim, faculty member in the physics department at College of the Desert and who is alumnus of CSUSB; and Kurt Kloesel, NASA-Dryden’s technical adviser.
The students and faculty will experience the NASA culture, learn which skill sets can be immediately put to use and what abilities sustain NASA employees throughout their careers At least two other students will be conducting NASA-related research at CSUSB during the summer.
Cal State San Bernardino is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution with a Hispanic student population of more than 40 percent, while the College of the Desert has 52 percent Hispanic enrollment.
The other three institutions are Fond Du Lac Tribal College in Cloquet, Minn.; Rust College in Holly Springs, Miss., with its partner, Mid-South Community College in West Memphis, Ark.; and Navajo Technical College in Crownpoint, N.M.
For more information about the grant and the applied physics program, contact Maureen Murphy in the physics department at (909) 537-5397 or visit the physics department website.
For information about the computer science engineering major, call (909) 537-5326 or visit the CSUSB computer science and engineering website.
For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.