Wesley College will serve as project co-lead in The University of Delaware’s (UD) five-year $23M Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) grant from the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program. The focus of this new round of funding is to provide solutions to Delaware’s water issues related to human, economic, and ecosystem health.
As project co-lead, Wesley College will collaborate with all its EPSCoR higher education partners: UD, Delaware State University, and Delaware Technical Community College. Undergraduate research is a signature component in the proposed Wesley thematic areas, and all of the project activities will cycle through Wesley’s STEM Undergraduate Research Center for Analytics, Talent, and Success (UR-CATS).
“It is a very rewarding to continue this important work,” said Wesley College Professor of Chemistry and Dean of Interdisciplinary/Collaborative Sponsored Research, Dr. Malcolm D’Souza. “We are grateful to the NSF for the continued support and confidence in Wesley to allow us to co-lead the grant.”
Wesley’s undergraduate research EPSCoR focus areas includes data analytics, water quality and nutrient monitoring on Silver Lake, the study of salinity stressors on Delaware’s wetland forest trees, solution chemistry, and environmental microbiology.
Wesley will foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem with incubator projects with local companies, and it will continue to serve its student population with its many STEM student success and retention initiatives. In addition, for STEM students with risk factors, Wesley will expand its three-week Success in STEM (SIS) summer bridge program to 25 freshmen each year. In the summer 2018 pilot SIS program, 86% of the program participants advanced in their incoming math placements.