AI-STAARS Program Awards Scholarships to 20 Computer Science Freshman

Author: Dr. Anagha Kulkarni
February 27, 2024

AI-STAARS stands for Artificial Intelligence Scholarships that Improve Academic Achievement, Retention, and Career Success. AI-STAARS is funded through the NSF S-STEM program. The 2023-24 cohort of AI-STAARS program consists of 20 freshmen with high academic potential and with unmet financial needs, who are receiving $190,000 in scholarships through this program. In addition to the monetary award, AI-STAARS provides wrap around support by providing program participants weekly seminars during the fall and spring semesters, a winter session coding boot camp, and a summer session that introduces students to different branches in AI through hands-on projects. In addition to all of the above, creating a sense of community and belonging is a vital pillar of the AI-STAARS program. Program participants are all true first year college students and that can be a very intimidating experience; to alleviate the transition from high school to college, the AI-STAARS program emphasizes community and inclusiveness.

This is best expressed by one of our participants who said, “I really do feel like I belong here. AI-STAARS, the student groups in the CS department - it’s just so inclusive and diverse and I feel like there’s a place for me here and I fit in.”

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