Press Release

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski  along with Congressman Chris Van Hollen (all D-Md.) today announced that Montgomery College’s (MC) On-RAMP to STEM program has been awarded nearly $600,000 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for academically-talented and financially-needy students and veterans majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, Senator Mikulski puts money in the federal checkbook each year for the National Science Foundation.

“This NSF grant recognizes the excellent STEM program that  Montgomery College has developed and is offering to talented young people who will use their education to help our nation move forward,” said Senator Cardin.  “Careers in science and math hold the jobs for the future and Maryland students are some of the most outstanding in our nation.  This grant will make it possible for financially-needy students and veterans to pursue their dream of achieving an education in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. ”

“Education is the opportunity ladder of this nation and higher education is a critical rung in that ladder,” Senator Mikulski said. “STEM graduates are in demand to fill the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow. Every student, regardless of background, deserves a chance to excel in those fields. Maryland has the resources and the infrastructure to guarantee students a rich experience, not to mention job prospects. I am so proud of Montgomery College’s leadership in preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s careers.”

 “This grant highlights Montgomery College’s position as a national leader in preparing STEM graduates for jobs in cutting-edge industries along Maryland’s biotech corridor,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “These scholarships will enable the College to recruit highly talented students with a variety of backgrounds and give them the skills and hands-on experience they need to innovate and ensure America’s competitiveness in STEM fields.”

The NSF grant will provide 125 scholarships for academically-talented, financially-needy high school students and veterans majoring in biotechnology, biology and mathematics who transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce in life-science industries with a solid understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of biology and mathematics. With the award, On-RAMP aims to address local industry and government agency demand for biotechnology and life-science employees who have quantitative or computational biology skills. The program builds on a record of successfully fostering STEM students by creating a learning community and providing intensive academic support, one-on-one mentoring, internships and research opportunities. The project also emphasizes supporting students through seminars, social media, student-faculty interaction, field trips to research labs and companies and informal student interactions. The grant is a part of NSF’s dedication to recruiting, retaining, educating and training underrepresented students in STEM fields, and preparing them for success in the STEM workforce.

The grant is awarded under the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education, a national program that promotes excellence in undergraduate STEM education for all students by providing leadership, developing supportive curriculum, preparing the workforce and fostering academic and professional connection.