Last year, the PREM program at the University of Texas, El Paso received a Creativity Award — a unique and competitive research award that focuses on using scientific research as a vehicle to provide multi-level education opportunities to students from underrepresented groups in STEM disciplines.

Luis Echegoyen

UTEP PREM received this award for achieving the greatest number of publications in its entire portfolio, almost twice the average for this type of award. This achievement is the result of an excellent balance between several complementary grants that allows the involvement of an important number of researchers and students, creating an intellectually rich atmosphere of work.

In addition, this particular PREM is the only one to have achieved a 100 percent underrepresented minorities’ participation in supported students at all education levels — the outcome of a carefully crafted recruitment strategy.

The PREM program is designed to enhance diversity in materials research and education by stimulating the development of formal, long-term, collaborative research and education partnerships between minority-serving colleges and universities and the NSF Division of Materials Research (DMR)-supported centers and facilities.

Hear more about the program along with UTEP’s achievements from Luis Echegoyen, UTEP’s PREM program PI and Robert A. Welch Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University as well as from Craig Hawker, Professor of Chemistry and Materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara — collaborative partners of UTEP.