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Contact: Eddie Miranda, 214-378-1541,
Anthony Denning, 214-378-1548, 

For immediate release — March 4, 2013

High-Achieving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Students Receive Support Award, Mentoring and More for Transfer Success

(DALLAS) — Thirty-eight students have been named spring 2013 scholars for the Dallas County Community College District’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Institute by the DCCCD Foundation. The program focuses on retaining and encouraging top students among the seven colleges of DCCCD who are pursuing STEM-related majors; it also helps them to transfer seamlessly to four-year undergraduate degree programs in their fields. Those students are residents of Dallas, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Garland, DeSoto, Duncanville, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Irving, Plano and Waxahachie.

Established as a pilot program in 2009, the program involves a total of 80 students who are participating in the DCCCD STEM Institute during the 2012-2013 academic year. The institute provides students with a cash stipend, personalized faculty mentoring, help with negotiating their transfer to a four-year institution plus extracurricular research and internship opportunities. Students participate in industry- and career-related seminars throughout the year, as well as an annual STEM summit that has featured internationally renowned speakers such as ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau and astronaut Dr. Mary Ellen Weber.

The program’s numbers exceed state and national averages for student success and completion: A combined 89 percent of last year’s STEM scholars graduated with an associate degree, transferred to a four-year institution or are still enrolled in one of the system’s individually accredited colleges. Although the institute initially focused on students who were pursuing STEM majors, an expanded focus now includes students who intend to teach subjects in those areas at all levels. Since its inception, the institute has served 343 students.

“The greatest driver of economic development in our community will be the quality and education of our workforce,” says Hunter L. Hunt, who chairs the STEM Initiative for DCCCD’s Campaign for Excellence and who assumes the chair of the Foundation’s board of directors this month. “With more than 700,000 jobs in STEM industries forecast for Texas by 2018, these STEM scholars hold the key to the future success of our region.”

The DCCCD STEM Institute pilot program has been supported by Citi, a U.S. Department of Education congressional appropriation, the Fluor Foundation, the Greater Texas Foundation, the Hillcrest Foundation, Hunt Consolidated, Margaret McDermott, and Hunter and Stephanie Hunt.

STEM scholars must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average, remain in good academic standing and complete at least 12 college credit hours. Students have transferred to four-year institutions including multiple University of Texas locations, Southern Methodist University, University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, Rice University, Texas Woman’s University, Colorado State University, the University of Arkansas, Columbia University and Purdue University.

Spring 2013 STEM Scholars

The spring semester’s STEM Institute scholars, their colleges in the DCCCD system, and their intended majors and hometowns are:

Brookhaven College

Miyoung Choi, astronomy/physics, Carrollton
James Daniels, biology/neuroscience, Dallas
Ahmed Elhelw, petroleum engineering, Dallas
Joseph Florer, mechanical engineering, Dallas
Cecilia Harris, mechanical engineering, Farmers Branch 
José Hernandez, engineering, Carrollton
Baohai Nguyen, electrical engineering, Garland
Omar Roa, computer science, Dallas

Cedar Valley College

Frank White, computer science, DeSoto

Eastfield College

Heather Clicque, astronomy/physics, Dallas
Nancy Morataya, science, Mesquite

El Centro College

Ana Barrios, information systems, Dallas
Lois Camacho, mathematics, Dallas
Matye DePaz, mathematics, Dallas
Kelli Goree, biotechnology, Garland
Victoria Livingston, mathematics, Dallas
Iris Romero, engineering, Dallas
Giovanni Rosas, biotechnology/biomedicine, Dallas
Rachael Royal, environmental systems, Garland
Adam Ulissey, environmental engineering, Dallas

Mountain View College

Benjamin Carlton*, mechanical engineering, Duncanville
Anya Reck*, mathematics, Grand Prairie
Jereamy Riggs, chemistry, Duncanville

North Lake College

Madhu Gautam, mathematics, Irving
Osaid Jaffery, mechanical engineering, Irving 
Uyen Ngo, mathematics, Irving 
Armin Riazlan, electrical engineering, Irving
Christian Smith, electrical engineering, Irving
Landon Swalberg, mathematics, Waxahachie

Richland College

Fawaz Ahmed Iqbal, electrical engineering, Plano
Armin Yousefzadeh Khiabani, petroleum engineering, Dallas 
Khoi Ly, aerospace engineering, Garland
Phuong Nguyen, biology, Dallas
Quynh Pham, biology, Garland
Jonathan Reeder, biology, Dallas 
Duc Tran, chemistry, Dallas 
Khanh Vo, pharmaceutics, Garland
Yaoxiang Xuan, actuarial science, Plano

* Returning STEM scholar from a previous year or years

STEM Citi Faculty Fellows

A major component to the STEM Institute is one-to-one faculty mentoring from outstanding science, engineering and mathematics professors from the seven colleges of DCCCD. These instructors are chosen through a rigorous selection process to work individually with students, participate in institute activities with them, and connect them with university and industry leaders. Funding for the Citi STEM Faculty Fellows program was secured in great part through the efforts of Debbie Taylor, a DCCCD Foundation board member who is southwest regional director for community relations at Citi.

The STEM Faculty Fellows Academy, initiated in fall 2012 in partnership with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, provides dedicated year-round enrichment for the continued professional and academic development of select mathematics and science faculty members who are teaching at the seven colleges of DCCCD.

Citi STEM Faculty Fellows include the following professors:

Brookhaven College

Dr. Claire Bambrough*, chemistry
Charles Cadenhead, computer science
Jason Cates, mathematics

Eastfield College

Sharon Johnson, mathematics
Dr. Denise Race, mathematics
Dr. Kendra Wallis, physics

El Centro College

Mike Panahi*, mathematics
Mountain View College   
Jesse Fox*, chemistry

North Lake College

Dr. Rahman Ghamasaee, mathematics
Jerry Mayfield, mathematics

Richland College

Heather Appleby, physics
Dr. Ricardo Azpiroz, biology and chemistry
Dr. Gene Garrett*, chemistry
Bryan Gibbs, geology and physics 
Dr. Polly Schulle, mathematics

* Second-year STEM Citi Faculty Fellow

For more information, contact Eddie Miranda, DCCCD Foundation director of marketing and communications, at (214) 378-1541; or Anthony Denning, DCCCD Foundation special projects coordinator, at (214) 378-1549.

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