Office of Public Affairs
Oct. 8, 2003
CONTACT: Rameen Mohammadi, 312-2689
NSF CONTINUES SUCCESSFUL SCHOLARSHIPS AT OSWEGO
OSWEGO -- The National Science Foundation judged
SUNY Oswego's first effort through the foundation's scholarship program
so successful that it has funded a second four-year version.
Rameen Mohammadi, chair of the computer science
department, recently learned that NSF had approved his group's proposal
for a computer science and mathematics scholarship program, awarding
the college a $396,000 grant.
Ninety percent of the funds will go to juniors and
seniors in computer science and math who demonstrate academic potential
and financial need, he said. About 30 Oswego juniors and seniors
majoring in mathematics, computer science, information science or
education with a math concentrate will receive scholarships of $3,000
each year during the grant program.
Oswego's proposal was among 220 proposals, only 65
of which were approved. "Your project is in a select group nationwide,"
wrote Elizabeth J. Teles, director of NSF's undergraduate education
NSF's scholarship program aims at preparing students
to meet the workplace demand for technically skilled employees. "The
major goal is to increase the number of technologically educated
students for technology-oriented professions in this country and to
decrease our dependency on the workforce from outside," Mohammadi said.
He noted that the federal scholarship program is
funded by the $1,000 fee employers pay on each H1B visa when they hire
Mohammadi's co-directors for the program are Dr.
Rhonda Mandel, associate provost; Dr. Jack Narayan, dean of graduate
studies as well as distinguished teaching professor of mathematics; Dr.
Margaret Groman, chair of the math department; and Rolando
Arroyo-Sucre, director of the Office of Learning Services.
The same team won a similar scholarship grant from
NSF two years ago. Narayan headed up that project.
"It was an extremely successful program for us,"
Mohammadi said, noting the absence of dropouts. "Part of the reason we
got this one approved was the success of the first one."
The scholarships allow students to focus on their
studies instead of working to pay their bills, he said. "Computer
science is a demanding field. You do need a lot of time. We expect
students to work less" at part-time jobs, he said.
New to the project is Oswego's commitment to fund
scholarships out of institutional funds for six freshmen and six
sophomores each year who will feed into the NSF-funded portion of the
In addition to completing an application form,
students interested in participating in the scholarship program must
write an essay and supply two letters of recommendation to complete
their application, which is evaluated by a committee.
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