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LU’s STAIRSTEP program wins Star Award

stairstepLamar University’s STAIRSTEP program was selected from among 58 programs across the state to receive the Texas Higher Education Star Award at the Texas Higher Education Leadership Conference on Nov. 22.

“It is a great honor to be recognized for meeting one or more goals of Closing the Gaps by 2015, a Texas higher education plan that encourages closing the gaps in student participation, student success, academic excellence, and research,” Peggy Doerschuk, STAIRSTEP program director, said. “This was a combined effort from both faculty members and students.”

Of the 58 applications received for 2013, there were eight finalists and only three winners from Texas schools.  Finalists are selected by an external review panel consisting of three Coordinating Board members, three Texas business and community leaders, and three out-of-state higher education experts.  The review panel reviews the applications of all finalists and determines which of these finalists will be honored with the Star Award on the basis of criteria established for the Star Award.

Students Advancing through Involvement in Research Student Talent Expansion Program (STAIRSTEP) targets talented at-risk students who are low income, first generation, and/or underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM courses.

“STAIRSTEP is designed to increase the number of students receiving bachelor’s degrees in five STEM disciplines: chemistry, computer science, geosciences, mathematics, and physics,” Doerschuk said. “The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and it has three goals; to recruit students into these disciplines, retain them, and transition them upon graduation to careers or advanced study.”

For more information about STAIRSTEP, visit http://dept.lamar.edu/stairstep/.  Photo at right, seated left to right: Judith Mann, Peggy Doerschuk, Jennifer Daniel; standing left to right: Joseph Kruger, Cristian Bahrim, Christopher Martin.