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Michigan State UniversityLyman Briggs College


Briggs Calls for New Cohort of S-STEM Scholars

S-STEM ScholarsAs one cohort graduates, Lyman Briggs College calls for applications for the new 2013-2016 cohort for the NSF-funded Scholarship in STEM (S-STEM) program.

Fourteen scholarships totalling more than $250,000 are available to sophomore science majors who are U.S. citizens (or permanent residents), and who demonstrate financial need based on their FAFSA.

"This is an excellent program that really demonstrates the Lyman Briggs College commitment to diversity and inclusion," said Dean Elizabeth Simmons. "It is both an opportunity to explore science careers you may not have considered before, and also a chance to meet and interact with people who are passionate about those careers."

Students who become S-STEM scholars participate in regularly scheduled activities that expose them to a variety of science careers, as well as a one-credit seminar course in each of the first two years to be eligible for the renewable scholarship in amounts of $3,000 for the first year, $6,000 for the second, and $9,000 for the third and final year of the program.

"But it's not just a scholarship," said Dr. Ryan Sweeder, Briggs associate professor of chemistry, and one of the major organizers of the program. "Being an S-STEM scholar is about professional networking and career exploration, and getting out there to find your passion and identify what you really want to do with your life."

Alongside field trips and presentations at locations throughout Michigan (the Detroit Science Center, Kellogg Biological Station in Kalamazoo, and Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek to name a few), S-STEM scholars also connect with Briggs alumni and friends to learn about science careers that are alternatives to the health professions.

First graduating cohort of S-STEM ScholarsThe first cohort of graduates of the program, 13 students who graduated in 2012, have gone on to start advanced degree work and careers in molecular biology, genetics, physiology, food science, nutrition, and publich health.

With more than a dozen faculty and staff now involved in the program, every level of the college and all five academic disciplines are represented. In the future, Dr. Sweeder hopes to renew the program and help make it sustainable so it can continue indefinitely.

Current and former S-STEM scholars report higher confidence levels while networking and seeking the next step in their education, as well as a better understanding of what it truly means to be a scientist and to pursue a science career.

Here's what former scholars have to say about the program:

"I most certainly would not be as well prepared or assured of my career choice without the program. By prodding me to explore alternatives, I am relinquished of doubt."

"The greatest [benefit] of this program is confidence- confidence in having a career in science, choosing the correct Ph.D. program, in networking, and in myself."

"The networking experience is an amazing gift; students graduate from college not having this skill and it can make interacting within professional communities extremely difficulty."

For more information, you can email Associate Professor Ryan Sweeder at To apply, please click here.


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Scholars enjoying a break

Scholars on a site visit

Scholars at the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek