CRPC Minority Education Programs Help Rice Win $2.5 Million Grant

Programs that encourage minority students to pursue advanced degrees in science, math, and engineering, including programs established by CRPC Director of Education and Human Resources Richard Tapia, helped Rice University earn a $2.5 million Minority Graduate Education (MGE) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Rice is the only university in the Southwest, and one of only eight institutions in the nation, to receive a portion of $20 million the NSF earmarked for launching its MGE program. The goal of the program is to significantly increase the number of minority students receiving doctoral degrees in science, math, and engineering.

"We are proud that we have won this highly competitive award from the NSF, largely based on the things we have done here at Rice to address inclusiveness," said Tapia. "We are very much aware at the national level that underrepresentation of minorities in these disciplines is of critical importance and endangers the health of the nation."

Tapia is widely recognized for mentoring and encouraging minority and female students in science and engineering. His CRPC-funded outreach programs include Spend a Summer with a Scientist, the Mathematical and Computational Sciences Awareness Workshop, GirlTECH, and others.

The University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison is included in the Rice MGE program. Rice Vice Provost Jordan Konisky explained, "UW Madison will not only help us evaluate components of our program, but will establish programs based on the Rice model in its College of Engineering, which has already been very active in promoting and supporting programs intended to increase the number of minority graduate programs on the Madison campus."

The seven other universities receiving MGE grants are the Georgia Institute of Technology, Howard University, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Florida, the University of Missouri at Columbia, the University of Michigan, and the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras.

For more information about the NSF MGE program, see

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