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Kean University Professor Patricia Morreale of Millburn Receives Grant to Fund Computer Science, Information Technology Scholarships

The Alternative Press Staff

Sunday, June 1, 2014 • 7:43am

UNION, NJ – Millburn resident Patricia A. Morreale, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at Kean University, has been awarded a $621,925 grant from the National Science Foundation that will provide 40 students with two-year scholarships to study Computer Science and Information Technology.

“Our goal is to prepare students to enter the scientific workforce or graduate school as competent, highly trained individuals,” said Dr. Morreale, who is the Chair of Kean’s Department of Computer Science. “The students will be skilled in teamwork and research, serve as role models to members of their communities and contribute to increased diversity in the fields of Computer Science and Information Technology.”

Dr. Morreale created “Project ASK: Applying Student Knowledge (ASK) for Success in Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT)” to increase the number of academically talented, financially needy students graduating with undergraduate degrees in CS and IT. The grant will support 40 transfer students and Kean juniors who will become ASK Scholars.

“Research has shown that workshops, outside of the classroom, where students discuss their problem solving skills, focusing on the process of problem solving, not just the product, have been very important to increasing retention and success in mathematics and computer science,” said Dr. Morreale. “The students will participate in weekly workshops, group experiences, and interact closely with faculty members who provide academic and professional support through advising and mentoring. They will gain leadership experience from participating in professional student organizations and local and regional programming contests.”

Students interested in the scholarships can apply at Kean.edu/KU/Computer-Science; all application materials and eligibility requirements are available online.

Dr. Morreale was also recently elected to a three-year term as a Councilor of the Council on Undergraduate Research, an appointment to the national organization’s governing board. Last year, she was appointed to a three-year term as co-chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Academic Alliance.

Dr. Morreale received a previous NSF grant to fund 20 Kean scholarships for Computer Science students, all of whom have graduated.  Hercurrent research focuses on multimedia system design, including web and mobile systems, and computer science education.  She is the creator of Street Corners, which is "architecture for the correlation of real-time networked environmental sensors," and has a patent in the design of real-time database systems. In addition to the NSF grant, Dr. Morreale’s research is funded by grants from Google and the Computing Research Association.

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