MSU joins the Gulf Scholars Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

As a new member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Gulf Scholars Program, Mississippi State University will support approximately 50 students pursuing degrees in fields that impact the Gulf Coast region. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State University has been selected to join the latest cohort of the Gulf Scholars program, an initiative led by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM).

As a member of the third cohort of the Gulf Scholars program, MSU will receive funding to provide scholarship support to approximately 50 students over five years, along with additional support to participate in high-impact projects along the Gulf Coast. The initiative, led by NASEM’s Gulf Research Program, aims to prepare students to address pressing environmental, health, energy and infrastructure challenges in the Gulf of Mexico region.

“We are pleased to welcome Mississippi State University as a member of the Gulf Scholars Program,” said Karena Mothershed, Gulf Research Program Council’s Senior Program Manager for Education and Engagement. “As a premier educational institution with deep ties to Gulf communities, we believe it is an excellent partner in our efforts to support and inspire talented students in the region.”

Jamie Dyer, interim dean of interdisciplinary studies at MSU and principal investigator for the grant, said the university’s Gulf Scholars program will revolve around a new minor in Gulf studies that will be developed through a collaboration between campus faculty. The university will also support student participation in outreach projects, internships and other opportunities to engage with communities along the Gulf Coast.

“The minor will provide an interdisciplinary educational experience for students to gain not only knowledge of the social, physical, and historical aspects of the Gulf Coast, but also the skills needed to design and develop solutions to existing challenges facing local communities Dyer said.

MSU joins a growing network of 18 institutions hosting Gulf Scholars programs on behalf of NASEM. MSU’s cohort includes Auburn University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University and the University of Florida.

The National Academies’ Gulf Research Program is an independent, science-based initiative founded in 2013 as part of legal settlements with the companies involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It works to improve offshore energy system safety and protection of human health and the environment by catalyzing advances in science, practice and capacity to generate long-term benefits for the Gulf region and the nation. The program has $500 million available over 30 years to fund grants, scholarships, and other activities in research and development, education and training, and monitoring and synthesis.

MSU leads several academic and research efforts that advance understanding of the Gulf Coast in fields such as aquaculture, atmospheric and ocean sciences, architecture, engineering, social sciences, and more.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, engineering, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences signed by President Lincoln.

For more information about the MSU Gulf Scholars program, contact Dyer at [email protected].

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