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$1.5 Million Grant for Engineering Diversity Project

August 30, 2022

Angelo State University has been awarded a grant of nearly $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a new project to provide enhanced opportunities for minority, low-income and other under-represented student groups in ASU’s David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering.

Titled “Diversifying the West Texas Civil and Mechanical Engineering Workforce,” the project is being funded by the six-year, $1,499,710 grant awarded through the NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program.

The grant will provide scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for talented, low-income students seeking ASU bachelor’s degrees in civil or mechanical engineering. Both new, first-time freshmen and transfer students will be eligible for the scholarships. The grant also provides funding for student success support services, including a unique mentoring program that will include practicing engineers from Texas industry, along with faculty and student mentors.

Dr. Dick Apronti, assistant professor of engineering, Dr. Elaine Stribling, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and Dr. William Kitch, chair of the David L. Hirschfeld Department of Engineering, will oversee the grant project.

Dr. William Kitch Dr. William Kitch “We’re very excited to have won this NSF grant,” Kitch said. “These scholarship funds will allow a lot of low-income students to achieve their dreams of becoming engineers. We especially want to thank the members of our Industry Advisory Council who supported this grant by committing to provide mentoring to our students. This industry collaboration was a key reason we were able to win this highly competitive grant.”

Earlier this year, ASU also launched the Ram Ready Engineering (RRE) program to provide community college students an accelerated pathway into ASU engineering degree programs.

RRE is a co-enrollment program that allows students to take introductory ASU engineering courses while still enrolled in a community college. ASU offers freshman and sophomore engineering courses in a distance-learning format so RRE students around the region can complete those courses while taking their math, science and core courses at their community college. RRE students will also earn credit for the engineering courses at both ASU and their community college, have access to ASU student support services, and could qualify for dual financial aid opportunities.

Howard College and Cisco Junior College have already signed on as RRE partners, with more partnership agreements in the works.

ASU offers Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degrees. More details are available at