Faculty member helps U.S. Dept. of Defense

By Website Administrator | Mar 16, 2007

Dr. Jim Huggins of Fenton, Mich., and an associate professor of Computer Science at Kettering University, recently served on the review panel for a national scholarship program through the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Dr. Jim Huggins of Fenton, Mich., and an associate professor of Computer Science at Kettering University, recently served on the review panel for a national scholarship program through the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The scholarship program is titled the Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Defense Scholarship for Service Program.

Each year, the SMARTevaluation panel reviews and ranks applications for the scholarship with results submitted to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), which selects scholarship recipients. Students who win this scholarship receive full payment of tuition expenses at accredited institutions of higher education, $1,000 toward the purchase of course texts for each year, a generous salary or stipend and health benefits. The program is open to citizens and nationals of the U.S. In return, students commit to work for a Department of Defense agency for an equivalent period of time after graduation.

The purpose of this scholarship program is to support the education and recruitment of undergraduate and graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Based on recent trends and data, there continues to be significant declines in enrollment numbers for students entering into the sciences and engineering fields in college, which will have a troubling impact on many of the country's department of defense laboratory facilities. The SMART program attempts to counteract these declines by offering significant incentives to study these fields.

Some of the fields that the DoD will assist students in studying include Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Biosciences, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer and Computational Sciences, and Mathematics, among others. Salaries and stipends range from $22,500 a year for undergraduates to $38,000 a year for doctoral students.

Huggins performed his service in early March and reviewed approximately 100 computer science applications for both graduate and undergraduate students in two days. In total, there were 1,600 applications across all disciplines and the program anticipates awarding 50-70 scholarships.

"It was a great pleasure to be part of the panel and to meet colleagues from a variety of institutions across the country," he said. "It's encouraging to see the exciting types of research that people are pursuing to promote our national defense. I also gained some insight into how groups like SMART evaluate scholarship applications and I hope to offer this insight to Kettering students seeking similar scholarships," he added.

Written by Gary Erwin
(810) 762-9538
gerwin@kettering.edu