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Scholarship Requirements

Students who receive scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year must maintain the following scholarship requirements. If these requirements are not met, scholarships may be put on a probation status or terminated.

  • Full-time enrollment at UNCP in one of the following majors: Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, or Chemistry.
  • Must be a sophomore during the 2015-2016 academic year.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Meet with their mentors monthly.
  • Attend a Math-readiness summer mini-course. Recipients will be strongly encouraged to participate in a 2-week mini-course the summer before they enter the COMPASS program.
  • Attend a number of science seminars, workshops for career development, talks by STEM professionals and site visits to companies and graduate schools, professional meetings.
  • Attend tutoring and supplemental instruction when advised by their mentors.

Optional summer research/internship.

How to Apply

To apply for the COMPASS scholarship, please submit the following:

  • Personal information form, including ethnicity, citizenship status, if you are a first generation student, and career plans.
  • Copy of your transcript
    • Current UNCP students: Unofficial UNCP transcript
    • Current Community College students: Unofficial CC transcript.
  • Personal Statement indicating why you are interested in the program, what makes you a good candidate, and why your family’s financial circumstances justify consideration for the S-STEM Scholarship. Essays should be typed, double-spaced, and approximately 500 words.
  • 2 sealed letters of recommendation addressing your academic achievements, leadership experiences, and character.
  • Financial Aid release form, allows Financial Aid Office of UNCP to provide the results of your financial need analysis to the COMPASS scholarship committee for the purpose of consideration for this scholarship.
  • Confirmation of having filed your FAFSA application.

This year's application period is closed. The application process for the cohort of 2015 is expected to open Spring 2015. Please, address your requests to Dr. Maria S. Santisteban at maria.santisteban@uncp.edu, or by phone (910)775-4274.

Program Directors

Principal Investigator

Maria_Santisteban_head_shotDr. Maria S. Santisteban
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Phone:  910-775-4274
Email:  maria.santisteban@uncp.edu
Office address: Oxendine Science building, Room 2232
Postal address: One University Drive, PO Box 1510, Pembroke NC 28372-1510



Co-Principal Investigator


Dr. Rebecca Bullard-Dillard
Dean, School of graduate studies and Research
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Physics
Phone: 910-521-6271
Email: rebecca.dillard@uncp.edu
Office address: Lindsay Administration building, Room 124
Postal address: One University Drive, PO Box 1510, Pembroke NC 28372-1510


COMPASS Scholarship Program

UNCP Logocompass logo

Scholarship overview

The main goal of the COMPASS Scholarship Program at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke is to attract academically talented, financially needy students, including underrepresented minorities (URM) and first generation students, as Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, and Chemistry majors and provide them financial assistance. The award will provide 27 students (3 cohorts of 9) with an average of $6000.00/year ($3000.00 per semester) from their sophomore year until graduation, all while preparing them for the STEM workforce or graduate/professional programs through intense mentoring and tutoring, research experience opportunities, internships, professional development, and career advising. In addition, each year, up to 4 students will each receive $2,100 of summer support if they opt to complete the optional research/internship component and the site chosen does not provide a paid internship or research experience.

The program was established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to address the need to substantially increase the number of graduates in the STEM fields.

For information about this program, please contact:

Dr. Maria Santisteban, PI
Phone 910-775-4274
Email: maria.santisteban@uncp.edu
Office address: Oxendine Science Building Room 2232


Summer Research Internships

| Go to Graduate School Information |

Brandon Payton

Some of the research internships links may have overlapping materials and information.

  • www.eco.org. You can post your resume here for potential internships.

Graduate School Information:

Top photograph: Brandon Payton presents a research poster based on his summer internship.  Lower photograph: Davon Goodwin and Justin Duncan experienced summer internships with the Student Conservation Association.

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RISE Students Attend State Science Conference (March 2014)

Armando CoronaChristopher Long
Armando Corona and Christopher Long (above) with their award winning posters

The UNCP RISE program was well represented at the annual conference of the North Carolina Academy of Science, which was held 28-29 March 2014 in Raleigh.  Dr. Robert Poage, co-director of the RISE program, brought nine students to the conference, several of whom presented research posters. Armando Corona and Christopher Long won the Collegiate Academy's Derieux awards for their posters. Their research was conducted in Dr. Ben Bahr's Alzheimer's Disease Research Lab. Other RISE students in attendance were Alex Foster, Carlisha Hall, Robert Lamb, Sarah Ruiz, Jordan Smink, Marsalis Smith, and Caleb Stubbs.

Caleb Stubbs Carlisha Hall and Sarah Ruiz students and Dr. Robert Poage
Conference activities included plenary and keynote addresses, workshops, oral presentations (as well as poster presentations), and an awards banquet. UNCP Biology Department chair, Dr. David Zeigler, judged conference presentations, as did biology professor, Dr. Dennis McCracken. Also present were RISE co-director and chemistry professor Sally Vallabha and Drs. Claire Gordy and Conner Sanderfur, both of whom are teaching in the UNCP Biology Department while completing postdoctoral fellowships in the SPIRE program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Conner SanderfurJared LocklearNicholas Faulkner
Former biology students, Jared Locklear and Nicholas Faulkner, now graduate students at NC State University and East Carolina University respectively, presented posters at the annual meeting.

Caleb Stubbs and Alex Foster Armando Corona, Sarah Ruiz, and Jordan Smink Christopher Long and Carlisha Hall
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and its new Nature Research Center hosted the annual conference, which attracted some 350 people. "The North Carolina Academy of Science promotes public appreciation of science, science education, scientific research and a meaningful role for science in public policy."

Dr. Dennis McCracken  NC Museum of Natural SciencesRobert Lamb

RISE is the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) program designed to prepare undergraduate students to be the research scientists of the future. Students who wish to join the RISE program should contact Dr. Robert Poage or Prof. Sally Vallabha.

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Archive 2012-2013

Davon Goodwin Participates in Conservation Photo of Davon Goodwin at FWS Conservation Career Symposium
Career Symposium





Photo of biology major Wes Carter playing football for UNCPBiology Major Wes Carter is Honored as Most Outstanding Male Student-Athlete



Dr. Velinda Woriax Receives Dial Award for Community ServicePhotograph of Drs. Velinda Woriax and Kyle Carter




Prof. John McDonald's Retirement Party Draws a CrowdPhoto of John McDonald

Prof. Erika Young Receives Award for AISES PosterPhoto of Prof. Erika Young




UNCP Biology Department is Represented at ASB ConferencePhoto of Betty Haughn

Biology Students Display Posters for Annual PURC SymposiumPhoto of Kristoffer Wild and other students



Photo of local foods conferenceFirst UNCP Local Foods Conference

Biology Club Plant Sale Nets Big ProfitsPhoto of Biology Club Plant Sale





Photo of Biology Club students in the greenhouseBiology Club Plant Sale is Scheduled for 
April 10-12th (Wednesday-Friday)



Local Foods Connection Conference Coming on March 22

Biology Club Goes "Behind the Scenes" at the Nature ResearchPhoto of Biology Club at the Nature Research CenterCenter


Photo of RISE fellows in Dr. Ben Bahr's labRISE Program Seeks Undergraduate Student Researchers



TriBeta Honor Society Seeks New Members (Feb. 2013) (PDF)

Dr. Debby Hanmer Offers Study Abroad Course in Costa RicaStudy aboard course



Photo of Dr. Debby HanmerDr. Debby Hanmer Reports on Mold in Old Main



Photo of faculty and staff at Christmas party

Biology Department Enjoys Christmas Party




Photograph of students and faculty shortly after arrival on Ossabaw IslandStudents and Faculty Capture the Wilderness of Ossabaw Island


RISE Student Jordan Smink Does Research at Eastern VirginiaPhotograph of Jordan Smink at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Academy of ScienceMedical School




Photograph of Prof. Erika Young in MontanaProfessor Erika Young Attends Writing Retreat in Montana




Students Present End-of-Summer Research PostersPhoto of student presenting a research poster




Photo of Dr. Bonnie KelleyDr. Bonnie Kelley to Offer New Writing in the Discipline Course



Andrew Sutton and Davon Goodwin Serve as Herbarium CuratorsPhoto of Andrew Sutton and Davon Goodwin in the UNCP Herbarium





Photograph of Dr. John RoeDr. John Roe's Research is Featured in Southern Pines Newspaper 
(article courtesy of Scott Bigelow)



Biology Club Offers Camping Trip to Hanging Rock State ParkPhoto of Whiteside Mountain in North Carolina





Multicultural Initiative in the Marine Sciences (MIMSUP) is Looking for Students to Attend Marine Science Program

Photo of Cameron Trace LandrethBiology Alumnus, Trace Landreth, is Working in Afghanistan




TriBeta Honor Society Seeks New Members (Sep. 2012)


Dr. Wm. Bruce Ezell Urges Precautions on West Nile VirusPhoto of Dr. Wm. Bruce Ezell




rise_flyerRISE Program Seeks Undergraduate Student Researchers



Science Education Programs Launch Recruitment Video

Science Education Students Participate in Graduate Research Poster Presentation (March 2014)

David Wimert
David Wimert and his award winning poster

Several students in Science Education participated in the Graduate Research Poster Presentation on Tuesday, 18 March 2014.  Fred Booth, Corinne Jordan, Wynne Kelly, and David Wimert, all of whom are pursuing Master of Arts (MA) degrees in Science Education (UNCP), presented their research. The poster presentation was open to the public and ran from 5:30-7:30 PM in the University's Health Sciences Building.

Wynne Kelly  Corinne Jordan
Above: Wynne Kelly (left) and Corinne Jordan (right)

David Wimert's poster ("The Relative Effects of Inquiry-Based and Commonplace Science on Middle School Students’ Alternative Concepts Regarding Conservation of Mass") was recognized by the judges as a contest winner.  David's poster is slated to be presented again during the Graduate Research Day, which will be held in Raleigh, NC, on May 21st.

Dr. Rita Hagevik is the Director of Graduate Programs in Science Education.  Click here to learn more about the graduate program in Science Education.

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Biology Department Celebrates Dr. David Zeigler's Service as Chair (May 2014)

Dr. David Zeigler

After two terms as Department Chair, Dr. David Zeigler will be stepping down from the position this June.  Dr. Zeigler has managed the largest biology faculty in UNCP history and has ushered in several new faculty positions in the Department.

Erika Young and Tonya Locklear Tonya Locklear and David Zeigler Tonya Locklear and David Zeigler Tonya Locklear and David Zeigler
From left to right: Erika Young and Tonya Locklear present David Zeigler with tokens of appreciation.

Department party Department party Department party Department party

Taking time from a busy week of final exams, members of the Biology faculty and staff enjoyed a pot-luck luncheon to celebrate Dr. Zeigler's service to the Department.  Dr. Velinda Woriax will be assuming the Chair's position this summer.  

Department party Department party Department party Department party

Department party Department party Department party Department party

Department party Department party Department party Dr. David Zeigler

Dr. Zeigler will continue to teach in Department. Over the last five years, he has taught nine different courses, ranging from introductory to graduate level. This summer his third book is due to be published.

Dr. David Zeigler

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