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GSBS Alumna Chávez Awarded NSF Grant

December 13, 2012

Tracey Barnett

GSBS alumna Violeta Chávez, Ph.D., a biology instructor at El Paso Community College’s Transmountain Campus (EPCC), along with faculty at EPCC and New Mexico State University, recently received a Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Grant from the National Science Foundation. The Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science Program, also known as TUES Program, provides support to strengthen undergraduate curricula and teaching practices in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The grant ($161,367 for NMSU and $63,269 EPCC) will provide funding through the summer of 2014.

With this funding, Chávez and her EPCC colleague Melinda Camarillo plan to integrate mathematics and biology concepts into their courses especially in the biology lab.

“We were very happy to have received the grant and are working closely with the faculty at NMSU to produce a successful course,” said Chávez. “The NSF TUES grant is intended to integrate mathematics and biology concepts, and hopefully, make math more relevant to students who have had a math anxiety in the past. We hope to show students how vital math is in biology and hope that they can see firsthand the importance of the concepts when they begin their research projects at NMSU.”

Chávez graduated from The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston in 2009 with a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. Her advisor was Danielle Garsin, Ph.D. Chávez will be visiting the GSBS MMG Program in January 2013.