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University Offers Data Science Scholarships with $1M Grant

Armed with a recent $1 million federal grant, Chaminade University in Hawaii can now offer scholarships for any students who are planning to select a major in data science, bolstering the discipline.

by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser / September 29, 2020

(TNS) — A $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to Chaminade University will fund scholar- ­ships for students majoring in data science, a thriving career field.

“Hawaii and the Pacific region face unique challenges, and we need local students who can use local data to help us understand and address those challenges,” said Helen Turner, Chaminade’s vice president for strategy and innovation.

The five-year grant starts Thursday. Talented students with financial need are the priority for the scholarships, part of the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The scholarships are for $10,000 per year, up to four years, and will be awarded to 20 freshmen and transfer students. Chaminade’s tuition is nearly $30,000 annually.

“Every business sector in Hawaii, from health care to finance to energy and nonprofits, needs professionals in data analytics to provide decision support,” said Turner, who is the grant’s principal investigator. Her co-principal investigators are data science faculty members Rylan Chong and Alex Stokes.

Chaminade launched the , analytics and visualization in the fall of 2019. Twenty students are currently majoring in it and another 20 are taking industry certifications. The program has a high enrollment of Native Hawaiians and women. Chaminade is Hawaii’s only Catholic university and has about 1,300 undergraduates.

In its data science program, students get real-world experience in handling large sets of information from local agencies, business and organizations. They receive technical grounding as well as training in decision making, data ethics and communication.

Scholarship recipients at Chaminade will also have access to life coaching, cultural programming, professional tutoring, paid internships and career preparation, the university said.

The University of Hawaii also offers National Science Foundation Scholarships in STEM for its students.

For example, last year UH Maui College announced a $1 million NSF grant covering scholarships for students pursuing STEM degrees through its Project Kaihuwa‘a. Students enrolled in engineering technology; electronic and computer engineering technology; and natural sciences are eligible to apply.

At UH Hilo, National Science Foundation STEM scholarships also support motivated students from economically disadvantaged families who are studying in 10 fields including computer science, astronomy and environmental science.

©2020 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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