TMCnet News

College of Liberal Arts Receives Federal Grant for Student Development
[September 26, 2010]

College of Liberal Arts Receives Federal Grant for Student Development

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BROWNSVILLE, Texas, Sept. 21 -- The University of Texas System Brownsville issued the following news release: The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College's College of Liberal Arts recently received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The college's grant application, "Recruiting High Achieving Hispanic Students into Forensics and STEM," will receive funding from 2011 to 2013.

The grant will enable 10 students to be DHS Scholars and receive stipends for books, tuition and fees for two years. Applying students must earn an associate degree in forensic investigation and a bachelor's degree in biology.

"Ever since the inception of the associate of arts degree in forensic investigation three years ago, Department of Criminal Justice faculty have been aggressively seeking external funding to expand this program, which has the important mission of training forensic investigators whose job it will be to ensure the safety and security of residents along the U.S. southern border," said Dr. Daniel Heimmermann, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

The chosen students will receive a stipend as they participate in a 10-week summer traineeship on homeland security funded research at the National Center for Border Security and Immigration operated by the Department of Homeland Security at The University of Texas at El Paso.

DHS Scholars will also receive briefings from federal programs such as the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

"The hope is they will commit to employment with the agencies after graduation," said Michael Lytle, an associate master technical instructor who teaches forensics courses and is in the Department of Criminal Justice.

The students will also receive mentorship from UTB/TSC faculty.

Lytle will guide the students in forensics, homeland security, investigation and intelligence and career and graduate education.

Dr. Andrea Schwarzbach, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science, Mathematics and Technology, will instruct students in research methods, laboratory practices, natural and biological science, scientific careers and graduate education. She will train the students in DNA forensics on the science side of forensic investigation.

The cross-departmental work will ensure forensic investigation majors also seek science-related degrees. Schwarzbach called the degree combination a good marketing tool.

"Employers are looking for people with a background and training in the sciences," she said. "That's what employers look for so they can get people in labs to do lab and DNA work." Lytle said he hopes the grant will mean future opportunities to get federal funding to offer more opportunities for students.

There are 110 forensic investigation majors who are also earning bachelor's degrees in the sciences or social sciences, said Lytle.

For more information, contact the Department of Criminal Justice at (956) 882-3859.

TNS-AD-JF78-100925-3021929 StaffFurigay (c) 2010 Targeted News Service

[ Back To's Homepage ]