The University of the Virgin Islands is the recipient of a grant in the amount of $3.5 million from the National Science Foundation to bring about major changes in the university's science, mathematics and technology programs over the next five years.
The grant was accepted by Dr. Camille McKayle, UVI mathematics professor, at a meeting sponsored by the White House initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C.
The aims of the grant are twofold, according to McKayle:
1) To increase the number of students entering UVI who choose majors in science, mathematics
or technology, and
2) to enhance the competitiveness of these same students as graduates for acceptance in to graduate programs in those fields.
The grant will provide funding for scholarships to academically promising students who major in science, mathematics or engineering fields.
An articulation program developed by the UVI science and mathematics division works in conjunction with both Columbia University in New York and Washington University in St. Louis.
These agreements allow the students to begin their studies at UVI and then transfer to either mainland school to complete their degree.
Summer programs and Saturday academics on both St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses will be supported by the grants as well, McKayle said. Another part of the funding from the generous grant will be used to purchase a new, world-class telescope for the University's Etelman Observatory. Noting that the university has collaborations with astronomical studies programs at
several universities, she said, "this is pretty exciting stuff."
As part of the grant also, UVI's science and mathematics faculty will design and implement curricular changes helping to make student research an integral part of the undergraduate experience.
The university's commitment to the success of the project is illustrated by the fact that University
President will be overall Principal Investigator of the project, with McKayle as Program Director.
For more information, contact Dr. Camille Mckayle at (340) 693-1389.

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