Back to top
Skip to main content
  • Home
  • News
  • Santiago receives NSF grant to improve undergraduate STEM Education

Santiago receives NSF grant to improve undergraduate STEM Education

Student working on engineering project.

Engineering student working on a STEM project. (WVU Photo)

In today’s complex world, the trailblazing fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are crucial. Making advancements in STEM education helps the leaders of tomorrow gain the skills they need to meet the demands of a changing workforce.

Story by Olivia Howard, GA Multimedia Specialist


Lizzie Santiago, project principal investigator and director of the fundamentals of engineering program at West Virginia University, has received a STEM education improvement grant from the National Science Foundation. As a continuation of a previously sponsored NSF project, this award of nearly $600,000 will be put towards promoting innovation and self-regulated learning in first-year engineering students.

The primary objective is to improve the problem-solving skills of non-calculus ready students in engineering during their first semester, and to increase the overall retention and graduation rates of these students within the College and potentially nationwide.

The project will specifically target students frequently underrepresented in STEM disciplines, encompassing those who identify as first-generation and come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

“This is a great opportunity to continue our efforts to assist students that are interested in engineering but need support in college algebra, trigonometry or pre-calculus,” explained Santiago.  “It’s important to develop the tools and resources for our students to be successful in math and engineering to create more STEM professionals to meet the national demand.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy and are essential for developing our technological innovation and global competitiveness.

Santiago will be working in collaboration with Mike Brewster, co-principal investigator and teaching instructor in the fundamentals of engineering department, and Jake Follmer, an assistant professor in the College of Applied Human Sciences.

“Our team is thankful for the NSF support that will allow us to work with non-calculus ready students to improve their problem-solving skills and to support their educational pathway in engineering,” said Santiago. “Making STEM more inclusive and accessible opens the pathway to solve the world’s most complex and diverse problems.”



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135