Kathryn and Lawrence Knight have generously committed $150,000 over five years to support the science and mathematics education programs at the University of Idaho. The Kathryn and Lawrence Knight STEM Faculty Fellowship provides support for high-quality STEM faculty in the Colleges of Education and Science. External support for faculty positions provides additional funding that allows the University to recruit and retain senior faculty who challenge and inspire our students. The Knights’ donation enables us to hire faculty who are already leaders in the STEM education field.
Due to the shortage of individuals prepared to teach and work in the STEM fields, the area of STEM education in the U.S. is a topic of concern. With the Knights’ support, the Colleges of Education and Science can hire STEM faculty who will increase experiential learning opportunities for students, continue research to improve retention rates in STEM fields, and promote outreach programs to assist current teachers in STEM disciplines.
The U of I has taken the lead in researching why many students in Idaho do not readily pursue studies in STEM disciplines, particularly given the increasing national and international demand for professionals trained in these fields. Our research covers a broad scope, including the sociological and cultural effects on students’ decisions to pursue STEM fields of study. Our researchers and educators are using integrated, experiential learning techniques that are changing the way students learn STEM subjects, keeping them interested in continuing in these critical fields.
The University’s partnership with stakeholders like the Knights is critical to ensuring the University of Idaho continues to lead the state in ensuring a better future for Idaho’s citizens. The students and faculty of the University of Idaho are honored by the generous leadership support from the Knights. As accomplished graduates of the University of Idaho with a family legacy of Vandals, the Knights’ ongoing support is vital to the continued success of the University attracting and retaining high-quality faculty conducting research that brings additional dollars to our state, enhancing Idaho’s economy.