Published on May 13, 2021 by Sean Flynt  
STEM Scholars
Edgar Flores, Itzel Mendoza and John-Anthony Jimenez are among the many STEM Scholars who have graduated since 2015.

Samford University’s STEM Scholars program is celebrating the graduation of 12 students in the last year. The program, supported by a series of grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF,) helps academically talented and financially-at-risk transfer students from local community colleges complete Samford degrees in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. The program also seeks to increase the participation of underrepresented and underserved groups in STEM careers.

Samford biology professor Betsy Dobbins, director of the program, said more than 80% of STEM Scholars graduate on time, and almost all go on to graduate school or directly to careers in their field. The recent graduates include:

Roland Burks (computer science)
Jaylen King (computer science
Jonathan Border (computer science)
Carissa Hope (biology)
Frank Gonzalez (marine science)
Nick Munoz (environmental science)
Ashlie Terry (biology)
Kaitlynn Wade (biology)
Logan Casperson (computer science)
Itzel Mendoza (biology)
Hannah Thompson (biology)
Erica Williams (math)

Dobbins said a recent NSF grant of $1 Million will allow Samford to admit 10 more STEM Scholars per year for the next four years.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.