Friday, June 15, 2018
  Awards and Recognitions

By Amanda Alaniz

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program has awarded UTRGV a grant that will recruit science and mathematics undergraduates and prepare them to become secondary school teachers in their respective majors.

The grant helps fund a project, under the direction of the UTRGV UTeach RGV program, called “Supporting the Preparation of Science and Mathematics Teachers in Rural South Texas.”

UTRGV receives a total of $1,199,508 over the next five years to support 15 students – 10 seniors and five juniors – each academic year through the scholarship.

Dr. K. Christopher Smith, associate professor for chemistry and co-director for the UTeach RGV program for the UTRGV College of Sciences, and Dr. Angela Chapman, assistant professor of science education in the UTRGV Department of Teaching and Learning, College of Education and P-16 Integration, devised the grant proposal, which will include UTRGV’s collaboration with nine public school districts in South Texas.

With the new scholarship, Smith said, the hope is that UTeach students will want to stay on the teaching track, will feel supported, and will have access to tangible benefits and the necessary tools to work in the teaching field.

“We want to inspire students in the program to reach higher and to strive, and to say to themselves, ‘Yes, I want to be a Noyce Scholar,’” he said. “We want them to see what the scholarship could do for them.”

The application for UTRGV students to apply for the scholarship is currently being drafted, he said, and awardees should be chosen prior to the start of the fall 2018 semester.

To learn more about the scholarship or how to apply, contact (956) 665-2063 or


The National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science (including engineering and computer science) teachers. The program invites creative and innovative proposals that address the critical need for recruiting and preparing highly effective elementary and secondary science and mathematics teachers in high-need local educational agencies.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.