Rep. Cuellar Speaks to STEM Students at TAMIU
Cuellar stresses importance of drawing more Hispanic students into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) today attended an event at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) celebrating the beginning of the second year of a three-year grant to improve minority representation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Congressman Cuellar helped to secure a three-year federal funding grant of approximately $750,000 for the TAMIU's Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) in 2014, which aims to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities at Texas A&M International University in science and engineering careers.
In remarks to the roughly 90 high school students and their parents who were in attendance at Saturday morning’s event, Congressman Cuellar underlined the importance of education in his own life.
“Traditionally, minority students have been underrepresented nationally in STEM careers,” Congressman Cuellar said. “There is a great need in our country for expertise in these fields and the demand will continue to grow for years. It has been my priority to make sure students in my district get a level playing field when competing for opportunities in higher education and in the workforce. I thank Dr. Keck and everyone involved in the MSEIP program at TAMIU for believing in our students and investing in the future generations of our community.”
Dr. Keck concurred, noting the bright futures ahead for MSEIP Program students.
“Research shows that students graduating in STEM fields have tremendous career and employment opportunities available to them, with premium salaries and benefits to those holding degrees in these fields. We consider ourselves blessed to be able to offer these students the key to that future through participation in this program,” Dr. Keck said.
Congressman Cuellar realizes the need to close the education gap for minority students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Hispanics compose 20 percent of America’s youth, but make up less than two percent of the STEM workforce.
Congressman Cuellar continues his commitment to improving the lot of minority communities in his district through higher education. As a state legislator, he authored the bill that created the TEXAS Grant, the largest scholarship program in Texas history. In Congress, he helped pass H.R. 1911, legislation that lowered student loan interest rates.
Congressman Cuellar received his masters of business administration in international trade from TAMIU, formerly Laredo State University, in 1982.