Submitted by Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)
By Andrew McMains
New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has received an $800,000 PSEG Foundation grant that will soon expand access to STEM degrees and careers for local Newark residents, first-generation students, and those from historically underrepresented communities in the STEM fields.
The five-year grant includes support for new need-based scholarships and research funding for local and underrepresented undergraduate students. It also promises support for vital STEM initiatives and college-prep programs for local elementary, middle school and high school students, offered through the university’s Center for Pre-College Programs (CPCP).
CPCP currently offers STEM programs and services to more than 3,000 local elementary and secondary school students each year.
“NJIT recognizes the importance of cultivating diversity in the STEM disciplines, where the greatest career opportunities exist,” said NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. “The grant from PSEG – which builds upon its past generous support for our pre-college programs – bolsters NJIT’s efforts to increase access to and support of a STEM education for the next generation of leaders, visionaries, researchers and innovators.”
“New Jersey is a hub for innovation across STEM fields,” PSEG Foundation President Calvin Ledford Jr. said. “Through the PSEG Foundation’s expanded partnership with NJIT, NJIT will further support underrepresented students by engaging in a structured, concerted effort to provide access to educational opportunities and remove barriers for advancement and achievement. The PSEG Foundation supports organizations that foster social justice, equity and economic empowerment and NJIT is a perfect partner in this endeavor.”
Critically, the PSEG Foundation grant expands the number of Newark high school students able to pursue STEM degrees at NJIT through the NJIT-Newark Math Success Initiative (MSI). Launched in 2019 through a partnership between NJIT’s CPCP, College of Science and Liberal Arts, the city of Newark and Newark Public Schools, the math-intensive program aims to double the number of city residents enrolled at NJIT to 600 undergraduate students within five years.
Funding will also help CPCP recruit and enroll more young students from Newark and other urban communities to its popular pre-college STEM events and programs, including its “Explore Careers in Technology and Engineering (ExCITE)” and “Women in Engineering and Technology” summer programs.
“Students cannot fully appreciate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) without having hands-on experiences with these subject areas,” said Jacqueline Cusack, CPCP executive director and MSI project manager. “The support from PSEG will mitigate the financial roadblock to student exposure and participation in the superior quality of STEM education offered at NJIT.”
In addition to expanding STEM opportunities for local pre-college students, annual “PSEG Opportunity Scholarships” will be made available to undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds who demonstrate financial need and are pursuing engineering and computer science degrees.
Additional funding will also be made available for eligible students engaged in NJIT’s Undergraduate Research and Innovation (URI) program. PSEG’s grant will fund research stipends and seed money for materials and supplies related to research ranging from environmental engineering to data science and cybersecurity.
Since it was established in 2013, NJIT’s URI program has given more than 450 students hands-on, professional research opportunities that serve them in the next phase of their STEM careers.
Funding from the grant will run from the academic years of 2022-2027.
About New Jersey Institute of Technology
One of only 35 polytechnic universities in the United States, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is an R1 (most elite) Carnegie Classification research university that spurs economic growth and prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT is an economic engine with a $2.8 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey and is a catalyst for applied research, conducting more than $155 million in research activity each year. Ranked No. 1 nationally by Forbes for the upward economic mobility of its lowest-income students, NJIT also is ranked in the top 2% of colleges and universities nationally for the mid-career earnings of graduates, according to PayScale.com. NJIT is ranked No. 33 nationally by The Princeton Review as a Best Value College and is rated among the top 50 public colleges and universities nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.
About the PSEG Foundation
The PSEG Foundation, 501(c)(3), the philanthropic arm of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), prioritizes investments promoting environmental sustainability, social justice, and equity and economic empowerment. Headquartered in Newark, N.J., PSEG is a predominantly regulated infrastructure company focused on a clean energy future. In 2021, PSEG was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the 14th consecutive year, named to the JUST 100 as one of America’s Most JUST Companies, and has been listed among America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2022 by Newsweek.
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE: PEG) is a publicly traded diversified energy company with approximately 13,000 employees. Headquartered in Newark, N.J., PSEG's principal operating subsidiaries are: Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), PSEG Power and PSEG Long Island. PSEG is a Fortune 500 company included in the S&P 500 Index and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 11 consecutive years (https://corporate.pseg.com/).
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