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Chemistry professor’s $5M NSF grant will create new center

Chemistry Professor Maria Tamargo

One of Chemistry Professor Maria Tamargo’s missions is to ensure that the City College of New York is recognized as being in the forefront of materials science research. The other is to increase minority participation in the field. A $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation won by Tamargo and her colleagues will help to achieve both of those goals.

The five-year grant from the NSF’s Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology will go toward creating the new CREST Center for Interface Design and Engineered Assembly of Low-dimensional Systems. Known by the acronym IDEALS, the Center will be devoted to increasing minority participation and diversity in the field of materials science.

Developing an infrastructure to do this is particularly important to the Cuban-born Tamargo, who once served as executive officer of the doctoral program in chemistry at the CUNY Graduate Center.

“We need to prepare underrepresented groups to apply for admission and to succeed in the PhD programs in science and engineering,” she said. “CCNY, as a minority-serving institution, needs to be a part of this effort.”

To that end, the team plans to revitalize the university’s recruitment strategies to ensure that it will reach a more diverse audience and to initiate a master’s degree program in the discipline that will ultimately prepare its graduates to pursue doctoral studies. She hopes that this will improve the diversity of PhD level students applying to science and engineering programs at the CUNY Graduate Center and at the Grove School of Engineering.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science; Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; School of Education; Grove School of Engineering; Sophie Davis Biomedical Education/CUNY School of Medicine; and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.



Syd Steinhardt