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Grant to fund low-income STEM students at Loyola

(Loyola University Maryland submitted photo)

(Loyola University Maryland submitted photo)

A new grant from the National Science Foundation will help 12 students from low-income families to cover the cost of tuition at Loyola University Maryland in the coming years.

The $565,495 award will fund the university’s new C-PaMS Scholars Program — short for computer science, physics, mathematics and statistics. The program’s goal is for half of its students to be either women or members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, according to a statement from the university.

“It’s incredibly important to have diversity in any discipline because it brings creative ideas and different perspectives that are invaluable to the field,” Mili Shah, associate professor of mathematics at Loyola, said in a statement.

Students in underrepresented groups often don’t consider careers in STEM — or science, technology, engineering and math — fields because they don’t see people who look like them in those fields, Shah said. “It doesn’t even occur to them that STEM is a possibility. We’re looking to change that perception,” she said.

Six students in the class of 2020 and six more from the class of 2021 will receive up to $10,000 a year for their four years of undergraduate study, according to the university.

Loyola is making a specific effort to recruit students from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Digital Harbor High School and other public schools in Baltimore City.

Students in the program will be organized into cohorts, participating in classes and activities together to foster a sense of community; they will also have academic and professional mentors, according to the university.