SACNAS congratulates member and 2010 LPSLI Alumna Dr. Josephine Rodriguez, recent recipient of the National Science Foundation S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) grant. The $650,000 award is the largest NSF award to go to the UVA-Wise campus, a small, public liberal arts off-grounds division of the University of Virginia.
Dr. Rodriguez saw the NSF S-STEM as a platform to “fight for those underdogs and to ‘level the playing field’ we know was sometimes not level for us”. Now she will use the funding to support 25 scholarships for students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and environmental sciences, over the course of five years.
Dr. Rodriguez first joined the SACNAS community in 2010, when she attended the Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute (LPSLI). It was during this leadership institute that she was able to network with the largest group of underrepresented minority STEM professionals in the country, and make connections that would become her support system.
“In applying for this grant I needed to juggle a heavy teaching load and a young family (I have a daughter that just turned 4) — and when I needed it, some of the friends I’ve made through LPSLI were a source of inspiration and encouragement,” she explained.
Dr. Rodriguez would especially like to thank SACNAS Lifetime Member, Dr. Ulises Ricoy, “as he generously shared his successful S-STEM proposal with me and it was incredibly helpful in writing my grant.”
She would also like to thank the rest of her SACNAS familia adding, “this is where I first found my voice as a STEM leader and advocate for underrepresented students.”
Congratulations, Dr. Rodriguez!