Congressman Cuéllar Annouces $2 Million Grant for TAMIU

Congressman Cuéllar Announces
$2 Million Grant for TAMIU

U.S. Representative Henry Cuéllar announced a grant for $2,159,877 from the U.S. Department of Education to Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) to benefit the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-Recruitment, Retention and Graduation project proposed by the University’s College of Arts and Sciences department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Dr. Ray Keck, Christina Hernandez, Dr. Rafic Bachnak, Congressman Henry Cuellar, Dr. Pablo Arenas and Dr. Rex Ball
Congressman Henry Cuéllar, fourth from left, announced a $2 million grant for TAMIU at the TAMIU Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center and Planetarium courtyard. Joining him are from left to right: Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, Cristina Hernández, director of Grant Resources, Dr. Rafic Bachnak, professor and chair of the department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Congressman Cuéllar, Dr. Pablo Arenaz, VP and provost for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Rex Ball, dean, College of Arts and Sciences.

The department designed STEM to increase the enrollment of Hispanics and other low-income students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The project goal will be achieved via a number of activities including enrichment programs, scholarships, internships, research experiences, mentoring and tutoring, advising and career counseling and recruitment of high-potential students.

“Our higher learning institutions are an invaluable resource to our communities, and making sure that they receive the funding they need to thrive is my top priority,” said Congressman Cuéllar, “I extend a heart-felt congratulation to Dr. Ray M. Keck, the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Department, and the Grant Resources Department for their hard work and dedication in securing this grant.”

“We are much blessed by the visionary partnership and support of Congressman Cuéllar. This grant presents a terrific opportunity for TAMIU students to excel and advance in scientific and technological careers,” said Dr. Ray Keck, TAMIU president, “TAMIU is rapidly growing in these areas and this support will further that growth measurably.”

Dr. Rafic Bachnak, professor and chair of the College of Arts and Sciences’ department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, is principal investigator. TAMIU project management team members include Dr. Juan Lira, Regents Professor and associate provost; Dr. Hoonandara Goonatilake, associate professor, department of mathematical and physical sciences and Conchita Hickey, executive director of Programs for Academic Support and Enrichment.

Other team members include Dr. Dan Mott, associate professor, chair and associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Jesus Aros, director of Student Counseling Services; Gina Gonzalez, director, office of Recruitment and School Relations; Mary Trevino, associate vice president for Academic Affairs; Rosie Dickinson, director, Office of Admissions; Christina Hernández, director of Grant Resources; Anne Frey, associate director of Grant Resources; Candy Hein, vice president, office for Institutional Advancement and Juan Cisneros, associate director, office of budget, payroll, grants and contracts.

The grant is part of the Department of Education’s College Cost Reduction Act Program that aims to improve and expand the capacity of Hispanic Serving Institutions. TAMIU serves an area that is 90 percent Hispanic and historically economically distressed communities along the Texas-Mexico border.

For more information, contact Dr. Bachnak at 326.2408 or rbachnak@tamiu.edu or visit offices in Dr. F.M. Canseco Hall, room 303.

University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu