About LA-STEM | LSU Office of Strategic Initiatives


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Melissa Crawford
Program Manager
Louisiana State University
205 Hatcher Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803


About the LA-STEM Program


Challenging undergraduate students to achieve the highest levels of intellectual and personal development is a vital part of the mission of Louisiana State University. In pursuit of this goal, the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) with funding from the National Science Foundation and the Louisiana Board of Regents established the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (LA-STEM) Research Scholars Program in 2003. The program concluded in 2013 after having successfully served 249 scholars. 

The goal of the LA-STEM Program was to promote the life and diversity of the STEM student body by bringing together students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The program focused on providing a supportive and motivating environment for students which promotes academic success through mentoring, education and research. 

The LA-STEM scholarship was one of the most prestigious awards offered by the University. Our program was designed to help build on the foundation that was laid by the family, high school teachers, counselors, and mentors of our participants. We challenged our students to raise the bar in the areas of academics, community involvement, research, mentoring, and leadership. The goal was that they gain the most out of their college experience and use all available resources to help them succeed at LSU, in graduate school, and in their future careers.


Why was LA-STEM unique?

The LA-STEM Research Scholars Program was much more than “a scholarship”. Our program provided exceptional students with the opportunity to enhance their academic experiences and to develop as leaders both at LSU and within the community. The participants experienced a family atmosphere while being exposed to all of the resources available to them at a large, research oriented university, which contributed to their success in the STEM disciplines.  LA-STEM offered multi-faceted training and employed a holistic development learning approach. LA-STEM Participants received unique advantages that traditional STEM students seldom experience:

  • Generous financial support
  • A scholarly community that provides support and intimacy among students, staff, and faculty within the context of a large university
  • Learning strategies to increase undergraduate success
  • An intensive Summer Bridge Program to help incoming freshmen with transitioning to college
  • Automatic admission to the Honors College
  • Yearlong guidance and support
  • Peer Mentoring relationships
  • Faculty Mentoring relationships
  • Academic advising
  • Research opportunities during the academic year and the summer at institutions nationwide and internationally
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Increased knowledge of the opportunities available in one’s major field
  • Training in the skills needed to apply to and succeed in graduate school
  • Professional skills enrichment
  • Leadership skills development
  • Networking opportunities