TSU College of Engineering receives $1M award for scholarships to recruit graduate students

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Engineering is ramping up its recruitment efforts for graduate students and has scholarship dollars to seal the deal. The increase in scholarship offers is courtesy of a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support graduate students.

The award, “Scholarships To Attract and Retain Students (STARS) in Graduate Engineering and Computer Science Programs,” will provide 30 scholarships to students who are pursuing master’s degrees in engineering or computer science over five years.  

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, said the scholarship program will support the College’s effort to

recruit and grow the graduate programs in engineering and computer science. 

He said the funds should be available by May 1 and that scholarships will likely start being awarded this summer to students in and outside of Tennessee. Applications will be reviewed by the College of Engineering. Hargrove said applicants will be evaluated on their grade point average (at least 3.4), research interest, and their discipline.

“We are strategically focused to increase our enrollment through the graduate program and increase our research activities in advanced materials, cybersecurity, and data sciences and analytics,” said Hargrove.  “We recently reformed our graduate degree programs in engineering, and this funding will allow us to recruit talented students to pursue a master’s in engineering or computer science.”

As part of the college’s strategic plan, the goal is to increase graduate enrollment by at least 25 percent in areas of research. 

In addition to financial support, the program will include cohort-building activities, graduate student support services, seminars, summer internships, and mentorship. 

Dr. Frances Williams, the project’s Principal Investigator (PI) and associate dean, said the “measures are crucial in providing for recruitment, retention, and graduation of graduate students.“

“This is imperative as the United States is faced with a human resource challenge in its need to produce more domestic scientific and engineering talent with advanced competencies,” she said.

In addition to Williams and Hargrove, the project team includes, Dr. Catherine Armwood-Gordon, TSU assistant professor of Civil and Architectural Engineering; and Dr. Ebony O. McGee of Vanderbilt University. 

“I would like to personally thank the strong support of Vice President Lesia Crumpton-Young, Director Phyllis Danner, and the entire (TSU) office team of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs,” said Hargrove.

To learn more about TSU’s College of Engineering, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/engineering/

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With more than 7,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.