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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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College of Engineering receives $1.1 million from the Hewlett Foundation

New Mexico State University received $1.1 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to help recruit, retain and graduate engineering students, including those who are historically under-represented in the engineering field.

ico State was among nine colleges and universities in the western states that received an Engineering Schools of the West Initiative grant from the foundation.

Ricardo B. Jacquez, the interim department head of civil and geological engineering at NMSU, said the five-year grant will help the College of Engineering initiate the Hewlett Foundation Engineering Recruitment and Retention Program. It will target pre-college and undergraduate students.

"The project will address the educational pathway leading to improved recruitment, retention and graduation of more and better educated engineers," Jacquez said. "We plan to survey students, teachers and parents to determine factors that influence middle and high school students's choices to pursue careers in engineering. The project will also collaborate with the Math Prep Program to increase the number of students who participate in the pre-engineering summer bridge program. At the undergraduate level the project will create integrated clustering of the first year freshmen and reform teaching and learning of engineering design concepts."

Mike Smith, the Hewlett Foundation's education program director, said William Hewlett recognized that much of the 'backbone' of the Hewlett-Packard Company came from bachelor's and master's engineering graduates of colleges and universities in America's western rural states.

"In memory of Mr. Hewlett, the Foundation is providing assistance to several of these institutions as both a measure of its appreciation for the societal contributions of their engineering alumni and as a way to help improve the quality and quantity of engineering graduates."

Other institutions selected to receive a grant are Boise State University, Colorado School of Mines, Montana State University, Northern Arizona University, Oregon State University, the University of Nevada at Reno, the University of Utah and the University of Wyoming.