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SMC receives grant from National Science Foundation

| Friday, April 5, 2019

Associate professor of psychological sciences Bettina Spencer received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with Notre Dame, the College announced in a press release email sent to the Saint Mary’s community Thursday. The grant will allow them to host a Research Experience for Undergraduates, and will allow students to gain experience in statistical techniques and software.

“This grant supports the great social science research being conducted at Saint Mary’s,” Spencer said, as one of the principal investigators of the grant. “This program takes what is unique about Saint Mary’s, the close faculty-student mentorship, and puts it on a national scale, for students from all over the country to have access to our exceptional education.”

The grant will also give opportunities to otherwise marginalized groups, the email said.

“Students from underrepresented backgrounds have been prioritized, and this year a diverse pool of women, students of color and first-generation students have been selected,” the email said.

The award will help students develop their own research projects, work with staff members from both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame and present their work at the end of the 10-week program.

In the release, Interim College President Nancy Nekvasil expressed her pride in the College receiving the grant.

“The training in problem solving, collaborative research and statistical work provides a rich experience that truly characterizes a Saint Mary’s education,” Nekvasil said in the email.

The program will also aim to connect students with peers and faculty professionally.

“With the rapid growth of computational social science as an approach to analyzing the social world, the program is committed to supporting students from underrepresented groups,” the release said. “In addition to the research, the program will provide opportunities for students to develop professional connections with research peers and faculty.“

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