College obtains science grant

first_imgOver a dozen science, engineering and math students from Saint Mary’s will receive additional financial and academic support as the result of a grant recently awarded to the College. Chemistry professor Toni Barstis and math professor Joanne Snow served as co-principal investigators of the grant, awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Biology professor Ryan Dombkowski is the faculty principal investigator of the grant and also served as co-author. The grant will begin distribution to eligible students starting in the 2013-14 school year. The grant awards $600,000 to Saint Mary’s to sponsor the advancement of women in engineering, math and science. The grant is through the NSF PRISM Women Scholars Program and provides scholarships for up to 20 students. The grant will provide roughly $26,500 of support to each student. Distribution of funds is spread throughout their sophomore, junior and senior years. “[The scholarships] are wonderful opportunities for Saint Mary’s to provide financial and developmental support to women interested in ‘STEM’ [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] field,” Dombkowski said. The school will award the scholarships to students based on their high school and first semester grades, along with recommendations from first-year professors and advisors. In addition to academia and references, Dombkowski said scholarship recipients must demonstrate an “exceptional motivation and enthusiasm for STEM disciplines.” “In the end, we want to see our students go off into successful and exciting careers in STEM fields and this scholarship program should provide us with support to do that at a higher level,” Dombkowski said. Once a student is given a scholarship, she will have to complete a list of requirements as part of her award, Drombkowski said. The student will have to participate in some community outreach, such as math or science tutoring at local schools, partake in some on-campus educational events and various field trips to pharmaceutical companies, research labs and other STEM places, he said. The scholarship recipient will also have to apply for summer research opportunities and as seniors, will attend a national conference where they will present their research from the summer or their senior comps, Drombkowski said. Dombkowski said  being awarded the grant is an accomplishment itself because of the number of applications the NSF receives every year. “I want to say that the NSF is only funding about 6 to 8 percent of their current grant applications, which means Saint Mary’s has been awarded this opportunity amongst a lot of competition,” he said. “We are certainly honored to be recognized by the NSF and excited to get started.” Dombkowksi said the College science and math departments have high hopes for the grant and are eager to see the impact of it on students, school and community. “I think that I can speak for my other [co-principle investigators] when I say that we hope the grant will help us to advertise the wonderful work Saint Mary’s women all already doing in STEM fields; to promote STEM careers and research for Saint Mary’s students; to attract, interest and retain the best and brightest students towards the STEM disciplines and to financially support exceptionally motivated STEM students throughout their studies,” he said. Contact Bridget Feeney at bfeene01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

Martha Plimpton, T.R. Knight & More Join Audra McDonald for Hello Again Movie

first_imgA host of stage and screen favorites will help bring the off-Broadway hit Hello Again to the big screen. Emmy winner Martha Plimpton, Emmy nominee T.R. Knight, Rumer Willis, Nolan Gerard Funk, Sam Underwood and Glee alum Jenna Ushkowitz have boarded the cast of the film adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical. They join the previously speculated Audra McDonald; the six-time Tony-winner will star as Sally (billed as “The Actress” in the stage show).The film will be directed by Tom Gustafson, with Cory Krueckeberg penning the screenplay. No word yet on a release date. Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s play La Ronde, Hello Again follows a string of affairs among ten characters through each decade of the 20th century. The musical premiered off-Broadway in 1993 and was revived in 2011 with a cast that included Max von Essen, Elizabeth Stanley and Rachel Bay Jones.Plimpton won an Emmy for her guest performance on The Good Wife. She recently appeared on Broadway in A Delicate Balance and earned Tony nods for Pal Joey, Top Girls and The Coast of Utopia. Knight received an Emmy nomination for his performance on Grey’s Anatomy; he last appeared on Broadway in It’s Only a Play. Willis, winner of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars season 20, recently made her Broadway debut in Chicago. Funk’s credits include Glee and Awkward on TV and Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway. Underwood has appeared on the small screen in The Following, Dexter and Homeland. Ushkowitz, best known for her role of Tina on Glee, has appeared on stage in Hair at the Hollywood Bowl and Spring Awakening on Broadway.The film is also set to feature Al Calderon and Tyler Blackburn. View Commentslast_img read more