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NSF funds program for students with disabilities

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $4 million, five-year grant to a New Mexico State University College of Engineering program that attempts to bring more students with disabilities into mathematics, science, engineering and technology.


gram, called the Regional Alliance for Science, Engineering and Mathematics for Students with Disabilities - Squared (RASEM-Squared), is a continuation of an earlier RASEM program and the grant is based on the success of the earlier program, said Associate Director Ed Misquez.

"The new name refers to the idea that this is the old program taken to the second power," he said.

RASEM conducts workshops to educate faculty members on the needs of students with disabilities, funds science projects for students with disabilities conducted by teachers in grades K-12, works with the American Association for the Advancement of Science to create internships with private corporations and provides assistance to researchers who hire students with disabilities, Misquez said.

The program also funds proposals on a competitive basis for similar programs at other colleges and universities, although it is the only such program in the country to have received funding from the NSF, he added.

"The beneficiaries of the program are a substantial and rapidly expanding number of students with disabilities in New Mexico and west Texas who up to now have been underrepresented in high-tech professions," said William McCarthy, associate dean of the College of Engineering and the program's director.