On Nov. 19, the University of Houston System (UHS) Board of Regents presented the Regents’ Academic Excellence Award to the Scholars Academy at UHD. The award acknowledges UHS institutions’ programs and initiatives embodies excellence in teaching, research and public service.
A program in UHD’s Sciences and Technology (CST), the Scholars Academy focuses on scholarship and student success for minority undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors. The program, now in its 15th year, has seen more than 700 graduates since its inception and represents 17 percent of CST STEM majors at the University.
“One of the Scholars Academy’s greatest strengths is the unique relationship between our faculty and our STEM undergraduates through discipline-based small learning communities,” said Edward Hugetz, interim senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost of UHD. “This connection was most recently recognized by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in its FY 2014 Accomplishments Report for bringing together teachers, students and research scientists in the Watershed Wonders: Summer Research Camp project. The Scholars Academy has been awarded more than $16 million since its inception in 1999.”
The program encourages students to pursue STEM majors through:
- exposure to research practices and career opportunities,
- graduate school preparation, and
- hands-on experience in research labs.
UHD further supports its students by disseminating student research findings at professional conferences, leading to increased co-authorships of published research.
“The Scholars Academy receives this year’s prestigious Academic Excellence Award for its commitment toward student success and the enriched bond between students and faculty members,” said Paula Myrick Short, senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Houston System. “By supporting scholarship research opportunities both on and off campus, UHD has increased the rate of students continuing in STEM fields through graduate and professional programs or by entering the workforce.”