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News: NASA to grant scholarships for Roane State students

News: NASA to grant scholarships for Roane State students

Oct. 14, 2014

A $45,000 grant will enable Roane State Community College to provide scholarships to women and underrepresented minorities interested in pursing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

“The lack of women and underrepresented groups in STEM fields is a national issue,” said Dr. Markus Pomper, dean of Roane State’s Mathematics and Sciences Division. “With the grant, we hope to encourage students to consider STEM majors available at Roane State, including computer science, mechatronics and pre-engineering.”

NASA provided funding for the scholarships through a $499,689 grant it awarded to the Tennessee Community College Space Grant Consortium. Roane State, Cleveland State Community College, Columbia State Community College, Northeast State Community College and Pellissippi State Community College are part of the consortium.

The grant was awarded through the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium at Vanderbilt University as part of the NSPIRES (NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System) program. Overall, the grant will fund 45 scholarships ($5,000 each) for community college students. At least 40 percent of the scholarships will be awarded to women, and the remainder will be awarded to representatives of underrepresented groups, such as racial minorities and veterans.

With the grant, Roane State will also hire a part-time completion coach to help scholarship winners progress in their education.

Roane State will provide nine $5,000 scholarships to eligible students. To be eligible for the Roane State scholarships, students:

  1. Must be a U.S. citizen
  2. Must be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more)
  3. Must be within one or two years of completing an associate degree or transferring to a four-year university
  4. Must have at least a 2.5 grade point average

First preference will be given to qualified female students enrolled in STEM-related programs.

For more information about the scholarships, contact Bob Gatton, (865) 354-3000 ext. 4894 or

Roane State is a two-year college providing transfer programs, career-preparation programs and continuing education. Founded in 1971, the college has campuses in Crossville, Harriman, Huntsville, Jamestown, Knoxville, LaFollette, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge and Wartburg. 

For more information, visit or call 1-866-GO2-RSCC (1-866-462-7722).

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. All colleges in the system offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit

Contact: Owen Driskill • (865) 354-3000 ext. 2301 •

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