Project GPS Scholars Recognized

August 31, 2018

Eleven Central Community College-Columbus students were recognized as Project GPS scholars for the 2018-19 academic year at a ceremony on Aug. 23 at the campus’ Fine Arts Building.

Project GPS ScholarsGPS stands for Growing Pathways to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), a scholarship-awarding program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The scholarship program targets high-achieving students with financial needs and who represent underserved populations in the STEM fields. Project GPS scholars receive two years of educational costs paid in full, including tuition and fees and room and board. The NSF is a federally operated organization that funds the majority of scientific research and science education research in the United States.

Scholarship recipients also have access to experiences that are rare in community college settings and even at four-year institutions. Local industries such as Behlen Manufacturing, DNA Genetics, Loup Power District, Nebraska Public Power District and Pillen Family Farms have agreed to provide tours, job shadowing and internship opportunities.

“Project GPS will utilize a holistic approach requiring scholars to participate in professional, academic and personal development activities in their first two years of college that many students compete for as juniors or seniors at larger universities,” said Dr. Lauren Gillespie, co-principal investigator of the project. “Scholars will also have multiple opportunities to participate in individual and group research projects and receive extensive mentoring from CCC faculty and industry representatives.”

Central Community College is the only Nebraska community college to be awarded the $648,844 NSF grant to fund the five-year scholarship program. To learn more about the Project GPS scholarship program, please contact Steve Heinisch at 402-562-1264 or; or Dr. Lauren Gillespie at 402-562-1277 or

The Project GPS scholars for 2018-19 are:

COLUMBUS: Alejandro Espino, Andreas Espino, Laura Nichols, Dylan Smith and Landon Sokol;

HASTINGS: Michael Bates and Alexander Koch;

HUMPHREY: Kayla Kreizel;

ORD: Jenessa Grooms;

SCHUYLER: Tychique Kutalu;

STROMSBURG: Elizabeth Ewing.