The National Science Foundation awarded a $310,588 grant to Cal Poly Pomona to retain and advance minority science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty, it was announced Wednesday.

The funding will help “promote, recruit, and retain underrepresented minority Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) faculty to address the achievement gap between minority and non-minority undergraduate and graduate students,” according to a statement released by the office of Rep. Norma J. Torres, D-Pomona.

“The faculty at Cal Poly Pomona plays a powerful role in the lives of students pursuing degrees,” Torres said. “They’re more than just teachers — they’re mentors who guide young leaders through challenges in and outside of the classroom. This grant will help bolster diversity in STEM education, provide faculty with the support to succeed, and give students the representation they need to see that a future in these fields is a real possibility for them.”

The funding for the grant is made possible through the NSF’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program. Torres is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for appropriating federal spending.

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