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STEM Symposium celebrates five years of grant research

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March 22, 2013

The Georgia College Math + Science = Success mini-grants program celebrated five years of research funding at the annual STEM (Science, technology, engineering and math) Symposium.

Georgia College faculty members, staff and K-12 educators came together to hear updates from grant-funded research with the goal of bettering education in STEM fields.

Biology chair Dr. Indiren Pillay presented his research on engaging underclassmen and non-science majors in biology.President Steve Dorman accepts STEM education award on behalf of the college.President Steve Dorman accepts STEM education award on behalf of the college.

“At many institutions, freshmen and sophomores are rarely given the opportunity to experience discovery science,” said Pillay during his presentation. “My goal would be to create a new course that would make that possible.”

Research was also presented for a variety of other projects including assessing a tutoring initiative for computer science students, a STEM learning community with Northeast High School in Macon, and learning to teach general chemistry in new ways.

“This program is part of the state-wide STEM initiative, “ said Dr. Jason Huffman, STEM coordinator for Georgia College. “Since 2008, the mini-grants program has funded 66 projects totaling more than $380,000.”

The nine grant recipients of funding for the 2012-2013 academic year gave updates on their research during the Symposium.

“This research has contributed to great achievements in the STEM programs at the university,” said Huffman. “In the last six years, we’ve seen a 29 percent increase in STEM and STEM education majors and an 89 percent increase in degrees awarded.”

This year’s symposium was also a celebration of Georgia College’s STEM achievements. Georgia College President Dr. Steve Dorman accepted the STEM Education award presented by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and TAG Education Collaborative.

“The work being done in STEM fits in well with our liberal arts mission; the focus on student engagement often takes learning beyond the traditional classroom,” said Dorman.

The award recognizes the university’s Science to Serve Initiative for its outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting STEM education in Georgia.

 “Georgia College has proven its dedication to STEM outreach and education, and that is shown by the university winning the TAG award,” said Dr. Kamau Bobb, University System of Georgia STEM Initiative coordinator.

The mini-grant program is currently accepting proposals for the 2013-2014 funding cycle.

To apply, you must be a Georgia College faculty or staff member. Collaboration among colleagues and K-12 partners is encouraged. The maximum award is $7,000.

For more information on the mini-grant program, send an email to or visit


ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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