National Science Foundation Supports LSU’s Initiatives for Underrepresented Minorities in STEM

BATON ROUGE – The National Science Foundation, or NSF, has announced that LSU has been awarded more than $2.5 million in support of its innovative and effective initiatives to encourage and support underrepresented minorities in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, disciplines. LSU has received funding from the NSF Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, or LSAMP, Regional Centers for Excellence, which aims to diversify the nation’s STEM workforce.

“We all benefit when everyone can access quality educational opportunities and career advancement. LSU is proud to serve as a nationally recognized leader in mentoring underrepresented minorities into STEM fields and careers. We appreciate the support from NSF of our ongoing initiatives and investments in high-quality education and outcomes,” said LSU President F. King Alexander.

With NSF’s award, the LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives will launch the Louis Stokes Center for Promotion of Academic Careers through Motivational Opportunities to Develop Emerging Leaders in STEM, or LS-PAC MODELS. The center will build an alliance with IBM to create a mentoring network across LSAMP and Southeastern Conference universities. A mobile app and website will be developed to provide unique data on best practices in mentoring and in the strength of mentoring connections. The center’s mission is to increase the quality and quantity of underrepresented minority STEM students pursuing doctoral degrees among LSAMP collaborating institutions through undergraduate and graduate student mentoring; increase the retention and graduation rates of underrepresented STEM Ph.D. students; develop a national model and platform for increasing the number of underrepresented minority STEM Ph.D. recipients; and develop a model for increasing the placement of underrepresented minority Ph.D. graduates into professor level positions or higher in academia and to minimize attrition at the doctoral level. The center will serve as a robust resource for inspiring, motivating and encouraging others across the nation to adopt this model.

In addition, LSU has been awarded to also support international research and professional development for underrepresented STEM students and junior faculty members. LSU is a co-principal investigator on the LSAMP NSF International Center of Excellence, or LSAMP-NICE, led by Salish Kootenai College, a Native American tribal college located in Pablo, Mont.

“Solving complex challenges requires forging strategic partnerships. We look forward to seeing the success that comes from our new and existing collaborations with IBM, Salish Kootenai College, University of Illinois, Jackson State University, our fellow SEC universities and with the on-going support from NSF,” said LSU Vice President of Research & Economic Development K.T. Valsaraj.

Established in 1991, LSAMP was designed to increase the participation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders in the STEM workforce. The main goal of the program is to increase STEM degrees in this traditionally underrepresented population.


Additional Link:

NSF awards 6 Louis Stokes regional centers of excellence to broaden participation in STEM:





Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations