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Texas A&M System Universities Awarded Nearly $3 Million From The National Science Foundation

October 16, 2017

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By Research Communications and Public Relations

The Texas A&M University System AGEP Alliance—Texas A&M University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and Prairie View A&M University—will receive a $2.8 million grant over 60 months from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop, implement and study a new model for advancing underrepresented minority doctoral candidates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to careers in academia. The Texas A&M University System AGEP Alliance is also funded by NSF’s Research Traineeship (NRT) Program and its Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate (HBCU-UP) Program.

The Texas A&M System University Alliance, created in response to the NSF’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program, will follow the doctoral candidates as they complete their degrees, enter postdoctoral research positions and progress through faculty positions. The NSF AGEP programs seeks to advance knowledge about models to improve pathways to the professoriate and improve the success of historically underrepresented minority graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in specific STEM disciplines or STEM-education research fields.

The Texas A&M University System AGEP Alliance model development, implementation and studies will focus on unique interventions including individualized development plans for participants as they transition from dissertation stage to postdoctoral scholar to faculty. The Texas A&M University System Alliance research model (TxARM) provides participants with professional development opportunities related to communication, writing, networking and job preparation or transition. TxARM also provides participants with mentors at the institutional and field-specific expert levels and offers opportunities to experience academic culture and activities at historically black colleges and universities and international institutions.

Karen Butler-Purry, interim vice president for research and associate provost for graduate and professional studies at Texas A&M University, will lead the project.

Leaders from the alliance institutions are Scott King, associate professor and department chair, Department of Computing Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Linda Challoo, associate dean for graduate studies and professor, Department of Educational Leadership, College of Education and Human Performance, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; and Gloria Regisford, professor, Department of Biology, the Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences, Prairie View A&M University.

In addition, the integrated social science research component of the model—led by Adrienne Carter-Sowell, associate professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Africana Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University—will address the effects of stigmatization on adult non-STEM and STEM African Americans and Hispanic Americans undergraduate students.

The Texas A&M University team also includes Debra Fowler, director, and Ra’sheedah Richardson, instructional consultant, Center for Teaching Excellence; Shannon Walton, director, Rosana Moreira, assistant provost, and Isah Juranek, program coordinator, Office of Graduate and Professional Studies; Joanna Goodey-Pellois, instructional assistant professor and associate graduate advisor, Department of Chemistry, College of Science; and Maria Lyons, academic advisor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering. Theresa Murphrey, associate professor, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will lead the evaluation component of the project.

Erin Burr and Kimberle Kelly, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, will conduct the formative and summative evaluation.

About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery, including that of science and technology. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2015), based on expenditures of more than $866.6 million in fiscal year 2015. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit


Media contact: Rosana Moreira, assistant provost, Texas A&M University, Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, 979-845-3631,,

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