Sloan Foundation Grant to Increase STEM Opportunities for Native American Students

Sue Dieter
four people in a biology lab looking at samples
Associate Professor of Biology Rachel Johnson works with students in a lab course.

The University of Minnesota Morris, in partnership with the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences (CBS), has received a $69,616 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to increase the number of Native American students participating in graduate-level STEM programs.

The goal of this one year planning grant is to develop a pathway for Native American students at UMN Morris to CBS graduate programs on the Twin Cities campus.  The effort will focus on identifying the barriers to enter STEM careers that Native American students encounter and development of approaches to remove those barriers.  It will also involve outreach to UMN Morris students to identify their interests in STEM, making contacts with Tribal Colleges to build on existing relationships with UMN Morris and development of a hands-on one-week lab course for UMN Morris students. 

Associate Professor of Biology and Acting Chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics Rachel Johnson is working with Dr. Meg Titus and Dr. Laurie Parker, both from CBS, on this project.  They are excited for this multi-campus effort to build a strong pathway for Native American Students into careers in STEM.  

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grantmaking institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-president and chief executive officer of General Motors, the foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and economics. This grant was made through the foundation’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program, which aims to increase the quality, diversity, inclusion, and equity of higher education in STEM fields.