Defiance College will receive $284,831 in a grant award from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) as part of the Choose Ohio First (COF) initiative. The initiative looks to significantly strengthen Ohio’s competitiveness within science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines and STEM education. The grant will provide scholarships for DC students seeking a degree in a STEM field, particularly computer science majors.

According to COF, it awards competitive scholarship funding to Ohio’s colleges and universities to support undergraduate and qualifying graduate students in innovative academic programs. Designated COF programs are: integrated within regional economies, meeting statewide educational needs, facilitating the completion of baccalaureate degrees in cost effective manners and recruiting underrepresented STEM student groups including women and students of color.

Defiance College has continued to focus on STEM programming while remaining true to the College’s liberal arts roots. Enrollment in DC’s STEM fields increased by 50% in one year, in part due to adding majors in computer science, environmental science and clinical laboratory science. Additionally, the College has an Institute for Pre-Health and Wellness Studies with a dedicated dean, Bridgette Winslow, who works with students applying to all types of medical, dental and veterinary schools. The dean facilitates trips to these schools and the effective writing of applications.

Procuring the grant was a campus-wide effort with support from Winslow, Professor Aaron Napierala, assistant professor of computer science; Mary Ann Studer, dean of the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity; and Tracey Dysart Ford, vice president for enrollment management.

Due to the generosity of donors and foundations, Defiance College has had nearly $700,000 invested over the past three years in STEM for student research, facility, scholarship, and programmatic improvements.

Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The College website is

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