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Tech Lands Grant To Assist Women Transfers

SOCORRO, N.M. January 27, 2014– The American Association of University Women announced last week that 11 campus projects at schools including New Mexico Tech, will received a total of $45,000 in grants. 

New Mexico Tech’s award is $2,600 for a one-semester pilot. Project coordinator Dr. Barbara Bonnekessen said Tech’s project will connect Tech students (mostly former transfer students) with interested women students at New Mexico community colleges for a pre-transfer mentoring relationship during the spring 2014 semester.

Current Tech students will visit community colleges once and be available all semester to answer questions.

“We hope that this will encourage the participating women to consider transferring to New Mexico Tech,” said Bonnekessen, who is an associate professor of social sciences. “This is part of a larger AAUW project to help women students at community colleges to consider transferring to STEM majors.”

Each year, the AAUW Campus Action Project grant program gives money to teams of faculty and students to create community-based solutions to some of the far-reaching problems explored in AAUW research. This year’s grant recipients were recommended from the 2013 AAUW research report “Women in Community College: Access to Success.”

The publication examines the needs of student mothers; the barriers women face in nontraditional and high-demand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; and the challenges women have in completing a certificate or degree or in transferring to a four-year institution.

The report includes recommendations that the organizations said will improve community colleges for all students, such as increasing on-campus child-care funding and stepping up STEM recruitment and support programs.

“We are putting our research into action through these 11 Campus Action Projects,” said Kate C. Farrar, AAUW director of leadership programs. “The winning teams were selected because they hold a great deal of promise for student leadership development and impact. We are proud to support these teams of administrators and students who are committed to eradicating barriers and empowering women.”

Other 2013–14 grant recipients are County College of Morris, New Jersey; Gateway Community College and Norwalk Community College, Connecticut; Northampton Community College, Pennsylvania; Seminole State College, Florida; Suffolk County Community College, New York; University of Cincinnati, Ohio; Vance-Granville Community College, North Carolina; Washington State University; and Windward Community College, Hawaii.

Other selected projects include the development of mentorship programs, speakers’ series, leadership workshops, and institutional partnerships with child-care centers. AAUW will also sponsor one member from each team to attend the 2014 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders at the University of Maryland, College Park.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech