Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $199,978 in Federal Funds for STEM Initiatives at Laredo College

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), June 12, 2020
Tags: Education

Laredo, TX – Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $199,978 in federal funds to advance STEM initiatives at Laredo College. These funds, awarded through the National Science Foundation’s RAPID program, will be used to teach quantitative skills to students at Laredo College during the COVID-19 pandemic by using a new, fully-virtual research format.

This funding was awarded through National Science Foundation’s Hispanic Serving Institutions program, which Congressman Cuellar established in 2018.

“Students in Laredo must be career-ready to meet the demands of our country’s STEM industries,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This federal investment will help students learn quantitative skills by gathering and analyzing COVID-19 pandemic data from our community. As a senior Appropriator, I will continue to fund educational programs that will create a new generation of innovators that will solve the problems of today and the future. I want to thank Laredo College President Ricardo Solis and the rest of his staff for their dedication to expanding educational opportunities for our students.”

“We are grateful to have this unique opportunity to make a difference and positively contribute to the current pandemic in our country. It is important for LC to promote exceptional activities and projects that strengthen STEM education,” said Dr. Ricardo Solis.

Students will increase their quantitative reasoning knowledge base, skills set, and confidence level by gathering, interpreting, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions based on numerical evidence during the coronavirus. This project seeks to promote faculty development in guiding undergraduate research at a community college and in an online learning environment. This work will include collecting and monitoring data on the rate of infection of the COVID-19 in high-poverty rural communities in Laredo thus increasing the diversity of the data available to scientists. By gathering data from the COVID-19 spread in Laredo, this project can be an opportunity to use data to study, to learn, and to prepare for the future crises.

As a senior member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Cuellar secured $45 million in the 2020 final spending bill for the NSF and their efforts to support Minority-Serving Institutions, a $5 million increase from 2019. In the FY18 final spending bill, Congressman Cuellar secured language that authorized the NSF to coordinate grant funding to Hispanic Serving Institutions for the first time.