Pictured are (from left) Dean of Student Services Michelle Saboo, LLTC President Raymond Burns and Natural Sciences and Technology Department Chair and Earth System Science Instructor Melinda Neville.

CASS LAKE — The Leech Lake Tribal College announces that it has been awarded $493,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUP) program to increase capacity for community outreach and distance education, while also increasing student graduation rates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.

This STEM infusion program at the college will be led by Melinda Neville, STEM Department chair and Earth Systems faculty, and Michelle Saboo, Dean of Academics.

“Through this generous grant from NSF, we will continue our work fulfilling the mission of the college, which is to provide quality higher education grounded in Anishinaabe values. The increased capacity for STEM education will help us deliver talented graduates for the local work force,” said Leech Lake Tribal College President Raymond Burns.

Michelle Saboo, whose role is to coordinate staff and faculty in implementing the project, said, “This funding will allow us to continue building community support and engagement for STEM at Leech Lake Tribal College. Meeting students and community members where they are at, online, outside, and in the community will ground and grow STEM education in Leech Lake to positively impact the broader community.”

“We’re excited to have new resources available to increase student success at LLTC, and we will be making the case for relevance of STEM education to meet the demand for leaders and scientists here within Leech Lake Nation,” said Neville. The grant will assist LLTC in increasing community outreach and student success by funding technology upgrades, online curricula design training for faculty, and student support through a laptop lending program and peer-to-peer mentoring.

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