Wesley College science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty presented research at the 25th National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research National Conference on Nov. 7 in Missoula, Montana.

The case study, titled “Working with Underrepresented STEM Undergraduates: Significantly Improving Retention, Persistence, and Graduation Rates,” showcased the undergraduate research programs at Wesley and success rates achieved.

Through NSF EPSCoR, Wesley College strengthened its academic environment by developing a four-year progressive core curriculum with curricular materials that has engaged students in STEM undergraduate research. Faculty shared ideas for development of interdisciplinary STEM undergraduate research curricula. Specific content included discussion of the efficacy and impact of comprehensive intervention programs and activities such as first year seminars, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, undergraduate research and extensive peer and faculty mentoring.

Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research Malcolm D’Souza, Professor of Biology Kathleen Curran, Professor of Mathematics Derald Wentzien, Assistant Director of STEM Initiatives Kevin E. Shuman and Professor of Mathematics Agashi Nwogbaga attended and represented Wesley College at the conference explaining the development and implementation of Wesley’s grant-supported mentoring programs and structured learning experiences that complement the formal STEM programming.

The keynote speaker for the conference, section head for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research with the National Science Foundation, Denise Barnes, mentioned Wesley as a “model of excellence.” She highlighted Wesley’s STEM program progression on federal support since 2003 and showcased its many programming achievements and accolades.