Kennesaw State receives grants to improve minority success in STEM

KENNESAW, Ga. | Oct 17, 2022

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Kennesaw State University two grants totaling over half a million dollars to improve minority participation and success in undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs. 


Aligning with one of the University’s key initiatives, this grant will provide undergraduate students with increased opportunities to conduct research alongside faculty mentors. The grant, which is part of a $2.5 million grant over the next five years to fund a University of Georgia-directed project, “Peach State LSAMP – Extending the STEM Pipeline in the Peach State: Mentorship, Research and Graduate School,” will also provide added financial aid and other activities and initiatives across the University’s two campuses.

When the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation began in 2005, Kennesaw State’s Marietta Campus, formally Southern Polytechnic State University, was one of the original members. Kennesaw State joined the Alliance in 2011. 

There are currently more than 50 LSAMP scholars at both campuses. The Marietta Campus LSAMP effort is led by David Veazie, professor of mechanical engineering. The Kennesaw Campus LSAMP effort is led by Melanie Griffin, director of special programs and associate professor of biology.

“The NSF LSAMP funding has been and will continue to be instrumental in providing not only participation support and student travel funds for various conferences, but also a major factor in facilitating undergraduate research in STEM as well as outreach with the STEM community for our underrepresented minority students,” said Veazie. 

Griffin pointed to several achievements in KSU’s recent history that show the kind of progress programs like LSAMP can make on and off campus.

Minority enrollment at KSU reached just over half the total population for the first time in Fall 2021, up from 39% in 2020. Kennesaw State ranked 14th nationwide among more than 2,500 colleges and universities, according to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, in bachelor’s degrees conferred to African American students across all disciplines for the 2019-20 reporting period. Additionally, KSU ranked among the top 75 in bachelor’s degrees conferred to all minority students in all disciplines and among the top 100 in the nation in master’s degrees conferred to African American students in all disciplines.

“Federally funded programs like LSAMP allow KSU to support experiential learning for our students, which we see as very important for their retention in STEM degree programs and careers,” said Griffin.

– By Thomas Hartwell

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit