Kathryn and Lawrence Knight STEM Faculty Fellowship
Dr. Lawrence and Kathryn Knight have generously committed $150,000 over five years to support the University of Idaho's science and mathematics education programs. The Kathryn and Lawrence Knight STEM Faculty Fellowship will support work in the Colleges of Science and Education to enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the state. With a shortage of individuals prepared to teach and work in the these fields, STEM education is a top priority for the University of Idaho, which produces nearly 70 percent of Idaho's graduates in STEM areas each year. With the Knights' support, the Colleges of Science and Education can increase experiential learning opportunities for students, continue research to improve retention rates in STEM fields, and promote outreach programs to assist teachers in STEM disciplines. “We are extremely grateful to Larry and Kaye for their support of STEM education. Their recent gift will enable continued strong collaboration between the Colleges of Education and Science to the great advantage of future teachers and students in particular and society in general,” noted Scott Wood, dean of the College of Science.
Dr. Knight said, “For a number of years, Kaye and I have provided a modest scholarship program in Science Education. This reflects our academic backgrounds and our perception of a real need for improvement in the training of science educators. Our recent pledge in support of a math faculty fellowship is derived from a similar concern. Mathematics is the common language of the STEM disciplines, and math competence is essential if our society is to maintain a competitive status in these activities. On a more basic level, math proficiency is also essential for the general populace and their elected representatives, if they are to make rational decisions on issues involving basic economics, environment, health care, and energy, among others. Our personal observations of such societal and governmental decisions suggest that there is considerable room for improvement in the decision making process, and a need for better understanding of data presented in a mathematical format.”