School of Engineering Awarded $1M NSF HSI Grant to Strengthen Student Motivation and Resilience through Research and Advising

September 29, 2021

Dr. Wenshen Pong leads a talented and committed faculty team that includes Dr. Zhaoshuo Jiang, Dr. Jenna Wong, Dr. Yiyi Wang of Civil Engineering, Dr. Fatemeh Khalkhal, Dr. David Quintero of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Xiaorong Zhang of Computer Engineering to receive a $1M National Science Foundation (NSF) Hispanic-Serving Institute (HSI) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) grant (NSF Award ID 2122176) to pursue the strengthening of student motivation and resilience through research and advising. 

The project will start on October 1, 2021 for three years. The project team brings their experience and passion to advance Engineering Education and promote diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This project’s goal is to increase the retention and graduation rates of engineering students from underrepresented groups. 

To achieve this goal, there are three project objectives: 1) Develop and implement a Summer Research Internship Program (in collaboration with Skyline and Canada Colleges) and Transfer Advising Days for new transfer students; 2) Establish an HSI Engineering Success Center (ESC) to provide student internships, networking opportunities with industry, and career development; and 3) Develop resources for the professional development of faculty members, including Summer Faculty Teaching Workshops, an Inclusive Teaching and Mentoring Seminar Series, and an Engineering Faculty Learning Community. 

The project team is energized and ready to start work on this impactful project at SF State. “The HSI ESC is an exciting opportunity to increase SFSU’s visibility in industry bringing new opportunities for our students and setting the precedence to increase diversity in the Bay Area’s STEM communities,” says Dr. Jenna Wong, Co-Director of the new HSI ESC. The project will raise awareness in teaching and research to better equip a culturally diverse student population to earn engineering degrees while preparing to make a substantial impact as they play a key role in the future technical workforce.