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Towson University Receives Gift to Boost Women in STEM Programming

Towson University has received a gift to launch a new scholars program to increase the number of women enrolling in STEM fields.

The donation, made by Barbara Hill and Ancelmo Lope, will establish the Hill–Lopes Scholars Program to help students improve their academic and professional skills through support extended by the Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics in the form of coursework, research experiences, seminars, and one-on-one mentorship.

“This visionary and generous gift will further distinguish and position Towson University as a center of excellence where students wishing to pursue careers and studies in STEM fields can thrive with mentorship from our world-class faculty and a state-of-the-art, new science complex,” Towson president Kim Schatzel said.

According to a recent study conducted at Ohio State University, females entering STEM-related doctoral programs are less likely to graduate within six years in comparison to their male counterparts. Researchers also found that for every additional 10 percent of women in a program, the gender gap in on-time graduation rates increases by two percent.

The scholars program aims to both boost female participation in STEM fields and support female success in STEM careers.

“Women continue to be underrepresented in several STEM fields,” Peko Tsuji, faculty program director, said. “This program will contribute to the retention and advancement of women in the STEM workforce.”

In the future, the Hill–Lopes Scholars, in cohorts of 10 each year, will engage in programming for up to three years. Scholars will also receive stipends and financial support to attend professional scientific meetings and participate in career-building conferences, workshops, and field trips.

“I’ll be so excited to see women graduating with degrees in areas of science where they’re going into interesting jobs or post-graduate programs,” Hill said. “Just knowing that we’re helping to fill that gaping need the country has with talented women.”

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