The AT&T Foundation has awarded the University of the Virgin Islands a grant of $28,000 in support of the University’s Mathematics Behind the Science summer bridge program. Math Behind the Science is a six-week residential program designed to enhance the mathematics preparedness of college-bound students who are interested in pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering, technology or medicine.
Photo: On hand for AT&T’s presentation of a $28,000 grant on UVI’s St. Thomas Campus were, from left, Attorney Ravi Nagi of the BoltNagi law firm which represents AT&T, Regional Vice President for AT&T Puerto Rico and the USVI Ray Flores, UVI Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dionne Jackson, Program Director Dr. Robert Stolz, AT&T USVI Retail Store Manager Catherine Kling, who earned an Associate Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from UVI in 1999, UVI Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations Richard Cleaver, and UVI Interim Provost Dr. Camille McKayle.
The AT&T Foundation grant will provide full funding for four students. In particular, it will allow UVI to recruit more international students who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United States, especially those from other Caribbean nations. Federal funding, which supports Virgin Islands students cannot be spent on non-citizens. The grant thus recognizes the importance of the University’s role in higher education for the entire Eastern Caribbean region. It will also allow fuller staffing of the program, and thus greater attention to meet the needs of individual students.
UVI mathematics professor Dr. Robert Stolz directs the long-running program which now typically attracts about 20 students to the St. Thomas campus each summer. He said the program has drawn more interest since it was switched from day classes only to a full residential program, with students staying in the University’s residence halls. That change was made two years ago.
“The program benefits the students in many ways, by providing a rigorous introduction to the study of the sciences at the collegiate level, as well as a preview of college life,” Stolz said. “Research has shown that student success in mathematics is a great indicator for success and persistence in the study of the sciences, hence the focus on mathematics for the bridge program.”
“Strengthening students’ ability to use computation as a problem solving tool in future careers enhances the preparedness of college bound students who are interested in pursuing STEM careers,” said Ray Flores, Regional Vice President for AT&T Puerto Rico and the USVI. “The foundation that this affords USVI students provides them with a solid footing to achieve success in the global marketplace.”
"We at UVI are delighted by the evolution of this relationship with the AT&T Foundation,” said Dionne Jackson, UVI Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “Through its giving, AT&T strengthens communities by investing in people. This gift to UVI is a perfect example of this commitment. We salute this corporate citizen for partnering with the University of the Virgin Islands, giving back to our students and alumni, and delivering on its promise."
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives, AT&T has a long history of supporting projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. In 2012, more than $131 million was contributed through AT&T corporate and employee, and AT&T Foundation giving programs.
For more information on ways that foundations and corporations can support the University of the Virgin Islands and its students contact UVI Director of Corporate, Foundation, & Government Relations Richard Cleaver at (340) 693-1042 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.