September 27, 2022

Bloomington, Illinois – A grant from the National Science Foundation supports Illinois Wesleyan University’s efforts to increase the number of students pursuing careers in STEM education.

Awards from the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program allow eligible Wesleyan, Illinois students to receive annual scholarships, paid undergraduate study opportunities, and instruction. The program offers up to 600,000 over five years for at least her 20 Titans studying for a dual degree in secondary education and her STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Offers a dollar scholarship.

The grant proposal, “Authentic Research in Preparing STEM Educators to Issues of Culture, Justice, and Equity,” was prepared by Honorary Minor Linnaeus Sherff Endowed Botany Professor David Bollivar and Pedagogy Associate Professor Maggie Evans . As Bollivar recently retired from IWU, his associate professor of biology, Loralyn Cozy, joined the project as co-principal investigator.

“STEM is a broad term that encompasses the fields of mathematics, science, technology and engineering, and is fundamental to America. We need scientists. Sex is recognized as a presidential priority,” Cozy said. “The U.S. Department of Labor points to over one million job openings in STEM-related fields, but not enough qualified graduates. NSF is funding the Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program to address this shortage. To address this, we recruited, prepared, and retained highly effective primary and secondary STEM teachers in high-need school districts.”

Undergraduate students learn by observing and teaching STEM classrooms in local schools, including McLean County Unit 5 and Bloomington Public Schools District 87. Each scholar will be paired with two Wesleyan faculty mentors to enhance their time in the program. As new teachers work in underresourced schools, mentorship continues for two years after graduation.

Students receive scholarships at events
From left to right, Noyce Scholars Amanda Wilson ’24, Seth Albin ’24, and Kate Meyers ’24. With Associate Professor of Education Maggie Evans, left back. Associate Professor of Biology Loralyn Cozy, far right.

On August 31, the first group of Noyce Scholars — Kate Myers ’24, Seth Alvin ’24, and Amanda Wilson ’24 — were recognized in a ceremony at the IWU President’s House. Each student is a double major in secondary education and her STEM field. President Georgia Nugent congratulated the future Titan teachers and praised their actions through scholarship as an example of how Wesleyan, Illinois seeks to serve their communities and beyond.

“When people think of teacher training, they may think of the big public institutions in Illinois. We’re preparing about 40 percent of the teachers in the Illinois school system,” said Nugent.

The primary goal of this program is to create a pipeline for McLean County students to become STEM teachers in their own communities.

“We have a lot of talented, intelligent students in our local schools who make great STEM teachers,” says Evans. “IWU provides a path to a career in STEM education, especially for McLean County students.”

In the process of recruiting students to participate in the program, the university seeks to encourage and support prospective students of color to apply, with the goal of creating a more diverse educational force for future STEM classrooms. I will try.

“IWU is excited to invest in a diverse group of McLean County students who are passionate about becoming STEM teachers for social justice,” said Evans. “Our graduates will be exemplary educators who will help fill the opportunity gap in STEM education.

Prospective high school students and currently enrolled undergraduates are eligible to apply for this scholarship program. For more information, visit his website at:

Julia Perez