S-STEM scholarship done after long wait

September 20, 2017

After six successful years, Physics Professor and Principal Investigator of the S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Program here at El Paso Community College, Dr. Fariba Ansari, is excited to announce that their S-STEM scholarship has been completed. 

Six years ago, Dr. Ansari along with other faculty members wrote the grant to the NSF (National Science Foundation) and it got accepted for almost $600,000 with the promise that the money would go entirely to the students in the STEM program.



Dr. Fariba Ansari, Physics Professor and Principal Investigator of S-STEM Program.


“My intention was to give the maximum amount of money so there is no need for them to worry about a job,” Dr. Ansari said.

Over the 6-year period they officially awarded 79 students and most of them are now in 4-year colleges, others are getting their Master’s degree, and some are even doing their doctorate degree. 

Ali Freddy, one of the 79 awarded students, is even working at Bowie Resources with just his associate’s degree.

Another student got an internship to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) over the summer. 

Every single student that applied had to follow certain criteria to be awarded; a 3.0 GPA, be a full-time student, U.S. citizenship or residency and have the financial need. 

Towards the end of the 6-year run of the S-STEM scholarship, EPCC obtained more STEM students than expected and Steven Smith, VP Instruction & Workforce Education, awarded $16,000 to the program for the extra students and with that the last 26 students we able to finish their spring of 2017 semester.

Ansari also expressed that she wanted students to worry about their education and for this reason, the maximum amount of money a student could receive with this scholarship was $18,400 per year for 6 years.         
The majority of the students awarded graduated EPCC within the first two years.


The original five-year scholarship plan was for 24 students for $18,400 each but financial aid didn’t allow it, so they came to the conclusion of awarding them with the maximum amount they could get depending on their financial need. 

In other words, the students could get up to $18,400 if they needed it but some got a little bit less.


All Ansari really wanted was for the students to have enough money awarded so they could finish school and get hired in their field once they graduated.

Lastly, Dr. Ansari wanted to thank all the other faculty that helped her along the way such as Dr. Pacheco and Dr. Escamilla from the Biology Program, Mr. Robert Moreno and Dr. Serrata for the opportunity to give the students a good start and financial stability for them to stay in school and continue their education without worrying about financial needs.


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