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STEM Program Director Recognized for Work with Transfer Students

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Megan Drangstveit was recently recognized by the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) as a winner of the 2022 Transfer Champion – Rising Star Award.

The Rising Star Award recognizes individuals who are making important contributions but are relatively new to the transfer field. Awardees create new programming or substantially improve programming that is responsive to the specific transfer student population and shows evidence of success. Rising Stars use best practices and theoretical frameworks to design, implement, and assess their efforts and use resulting data to guide future work. They use their strong communication and collaboration skills to educate others about transfer students, and they are not afraid to challenge the status quo. Generally, these individuals have served in transfer-related roles for three to five years.

Drangstveit is the principal investigator and project director for Project RAISE (Regional Alliance in STEM Education). The program, funded through U.S. Department of Education HSI-STEM grants, is a partnership between the CSUF College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and nine partner community colleges.

Under Megan’s leadership, Project RAISE has not only served the students in the program but has had a positive impact across the institution. As a nominator described, “Dr. Drangstveit shares data and observations about the challenges facing Latinx and low-income STEM transfer students and influences recommendations for institutional enrollment management plans.”

Peer advising is a strong component of the program. An external evaluator for the project stated, “Project RAISE peer advisors have, with support from their director, transformed from helpful employees to fully engaged stakeholders. This transformation is directly attributable to Megan’s leadership style, her dedication to the pursuit of continuous improvement, and her genuine concern and compassion for CSUF’s transfer student community.”

Based on the success of Project RAISE, Drangstveit continues to lead the next iteration of the program.

Megan Drangstveit