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June 2009

Release Date: June 25, 2009ASU Logo

ASU Biology Prof Receives National Grant

Dr. Connie Russell of the Angelo State University biology faculty has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling almost $1 million to fund her project “Angelo Science Partnership for Undergraduate Recruitment, Retention and Success (Angelo SPURRS).

The grant is being awarded through the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). The first installment is a three-year award of $581,474. Pending a successful third-year review, Russell will receive an additional $417,820 for years four and five of the project, for a total award of $999,294. The ASU project was one of only 22 chosen from 186 applications to the NSF’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP).

The goal of the Angelo SPURRS project is to increase by 20 percent the number of ASU science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors and graduates, particularly in underrepresented populations. Under Russell’s guidance, the project director will be Dr. Kit Price Blount, a research scientist in ASU’s College of Graduate Studies.

The award letter from the NSF states, “We have confidence that your project will enable significant improvements in the education of undergraduate students. Your project is in a select group nationwide. Congratulations on succeeding in a highly competitive activity.”

An associate professor of biology at ASU, Russell is president of the Society for College Science Teachers. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Henderson State University and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. She is also a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers and the National Science Teachers Association.

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