JOHNSON, VT – Thanks to a $552,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Johnson State College (JSC) is launching a new scholarship program called “START” this fall for xxx promising students majoring in biology and environmental science.

Students chosen for a START scholarship may be able to receive up to $40,000 over four years to support their undergraduate studies at JSC. Students must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average and demonstrated financial need in order to apply.

START stands for “Student Transition, Achievement, Retention and Teaching” and is one of several steps JSC is taking to support academically talented students of modest financial means who are committed to earning a college degree.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to our students,” said Dr. Leslie Kanat, a professor in the Department of Environmental and Health Sciences, in announcing the May 29 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). “The grant speaks both to the quality of our science programs at Johnson State and to our commitment to helping talented students with financial need, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.”

START scholars will have numerous opportunities to conduct faculty-mentored research in the field and in the laboratories of JSC’s newly renovated science facility, Bentley Hall; to attend and present at national and regional conferences; and to participate in specialized academic advising, learning communities and career counseling at JSC.

Ongoing research initiatives at JSC in which START scholars may be involved include chemical, biological and geological investigations in the Lamoille River Watershed; analysis of bacteria from the closed Vermont Asbestos Group mine in Lowell and Eden; assessments of landslide potential in Jeffersonville; and the characterization of hazardous algal blooms in association with the “Research on Adaptation to Climate Change” project. Funds from the Vermont Genetics Network and the National Science Foundation EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) support most of these studies.

The NSF grant was awarded through the foundation’s “Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics” program. For more information or application materials visit or contact Dr. Leslie Kanat at or 802-635-1327.

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