The official biography below was current at the time of the award. See the organization’s website for its latest information.
The Strengthening the Understanding of Mathematics and Sciences (SUMS) Institute at Arizona State University administers the Math Science Honors Program (MSHP) throughout the state as well as other similar programs. MSHP is a residential summer program that enrolls students in a college-level mathematics or science course. SUMS also provides support to its students who enter college and pursue graduate study. Undergraduates receive mentoring, tutoring, and scholarships or student employment. They also provide support to the pre-college program.
The program is designed to provide a successful university experience for students from underrepresented groups and to enhance their prospects for future academic success. During the first 11 years of its experience, participants of the Math-Science Honors Program were students from underrepresented minority groups exclusively. In 1996, the program broadened its focus and participation was opened to all Arizona high school students meeting the program's academic and socioeconomic criteria. Its participants are now ninety-seven percent minority.
The institute has had broad impact through the participation of 1,600 minority high school students, half of whom later enrolled in Arizona State University (ASU). Of those who enrolled at ASU, 265 have completed their degrees in science or mathematics, including 15 students who have earned graduate degrees. Twenty students are currently in graduate programs in science and mathematics. A major strength of the project is its sustained existence over the past 15 years.