NSF professors
(Left to right) Hostos faculty Antonios Varelas (Behavioral and Social Sciences), Nieves Angulo (Mathematics), Yoel Rodríguez (Natural Sciences), and Clara Nieto-Wire (Mathematics) are the team that made the Hostos NSF Grant program possible.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Hostos Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY) a $999,400 grant for scholarships in STEM. The “Hostos Engineering Academic Talent” (HEAT) Scholarship Program is designed to support the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income Hostos students with demonstrated financial need.

Over the course of five years the project will fund up to 110 scholarships for 30 HEAT Scholars who are pursuing associate and bachelor’s degrees in engineering. HEAT will offer a full year of financial support for up to four years of study, with up to two years at Hostos and up to two years at the City College Grove School of Engineering (GSoE). HEAT also leverages financial support with faculty and near-peer mentoring activities for scholars, allowing them to take full advantage of available resources and professional development opportunities.
“This award reaffirms my belief in the talent and commitment of the faculty of this institution. They understand that the future is here and this community needs champions. They are champions to me, and I am incredibly proud of them and for the College,” said Hostos President David Gómez.
The NSF proposal took several years to perfect. Yoel Rodríguez, principal investigator and full professor in the Natural Sciences Department worked with a team of co-principal investigators – professors Nieves Angulo (Mathematics), Clara Nieto-Wire (Mathematics), and Antonios Varelas (Behavioral and Social Sciences) – to create the program, which is a real game-changer in STEM studies.
Hostos and GSoE have enjoyed a productive and positive STEM partnership since the launch of the “Bridges to Engineering Success for Transfers” (BEST) Program. BEST (which is also an NSF-funded initiative) helped establish the Joint Dual Engineering Degree Program between the colleges, and provides Hostos students earning an associate degree in engineering a seamless transition to earning a bachelor’s degree at GSoE.
Professor Rodríguez has been a mentor to many Hostos engineering students since his arrival in 2008. Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs Christine Mangino knows this about him and his colleagues. “The STEM fields at Hostos are achieving truly remarkable things, and it is all because of the faculty. The team that worked to get this award deserve it,” Provost Mangino said. “They not only believe in the student body that Hostos serves but, more important still, they know how to nurture talent. We see it again and again, and that is the reason we are here.”
The HEAT program will include writing across disciplines in the STEM curriculum; mentored immersive undergraduate research experiences; guidance and support for transfers to a four-year institution; exposure to STEM-related working and professional facilities; participation at professional STEM conferences; career orientation workshops and other professional development opportunities.

Media contact: Rich Pietras - rpietras@hostos.cuny.edu
About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for a half-century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.
Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.
About the National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense ..." NSF is vital because we support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future. This type of support: Is a primary driver of the U.S. economy; enhances the nation's security; and advances knowledge to sustain global leadership. With an annual budget of $8.1 billion (FY 2019), we are the funding source for approximately 24 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.