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Doctoral student grants targeted for areas of national need

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

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Media Contact: Herb Booth, Office:817-272-7075, Cell:214-546-1082, hbooth@uta.edu

ARLINGTON - More than $1.4 million in federal grants will go toward helping qualified graduate students at The University of Texas at Arlington receive their doctoral degrees in areas of national need.

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded grants valued at $522,624 through the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program to both the UT Arlington Department of Mathematics and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The Physics Department received a $391,968 GAANN grant. Each grant will benefit up to 20 students in each of those three departments during the next three years.

Jianping Zhu, professor and chair in mathematics, said the aim of the federal grant is to boost the number of doctoral degrees awarded to U.S. citizens and residents in these fields. The Mathematics Department has received this type of grant since 2006.

Carter Tiernan, assistant dean, senior lecturer and director of outreach for the College of Engineering, said traditionally underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups will greatly benefit from the availability of these need-based GAANN fellowships on our campus.

Philip Cohen, graduate school dean and vice provost for academic affairs, said the program will have a significant impact on the quality of doctoral students and number of doctoral degrees awarded annually at UT Arlington.

"These three awards could also help our recruitment and retention efforts in all of our doctoral programs," Cohen said.

Professors Tuncay Aktosun and Ishfaq Ahmad, and Assistant Professor Nail Fazleev led their respective GAANN teams in math, computer science and physics.

All the departments are working in partnership with the Office of Graduate Studies to develop common recruiting and retention activities for the GAANN fellows that are designed to address the unique needs of underrepresented and first-generation college students.

For more information, call Alisa Johnson in the Office of Graduate Studies at 817-272-2708.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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