University of Houston-Downtown
FY 2012 National Day of Service and Remembrance Grants
UHD Scholars Team Up: STEM Vets Continue to Serve (STEM VETS Serve) A. Executive Summary: Project's Objectives: The well-defined and focused aims of this collaborative project include: 1) Increase the number of underrepresented Military Veterans interested in completing 4-year undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas, thus increasing the competency of the minority workforce in Houston, 2) Institute scholarships, mentorships, service seminars, service learning commemorating the Day of Remembrance of Sept 11th , and research opportunities creating a network of support for underrepresented STEM students and more marketable, employable graduates; 3) Collaboration with Veterans Affairs Office, City of Houston to present a program of seminars focused on improving "soft skills" such as interview skills, resume writing, dressing protocols, and other to complement the repertoire of students completing an undergraduate degree and seeking employment; 4) Creating service learning opportunities within Scholars Academy through peer mentor groups, thus providing STEM students the opportunity to learn leadership skills through community development creating a more service-oriented scientific community for STEM Vets entering the program. Project's Benefits: Increased retention and graduation of underrepresented STEM Vets at the undergraduate. Increase the employability of underrepresented STEM majors. Creating a collaborative service effort through both the STEM and STEM Vet undergraduates is critical to this project focusing scholars/vets to the importance of "giving back" to their communities through service learning in particular to Remembrance of Sept 11th, thus influencing the UHD campus and the city of Houston (year one) and over 13 county governments and ISDs (year two). Promotion and increased service learning opportunities for underrepresented STEM and STEM Vet students as a result of the STEM VETS Serve project will yield improved retention rates for these scholars, to increases in dedicated Sept 11th service learning projects, and to the quality of all participant lives.