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Release: Immediate

EDITORS NOTE: We invite members of the media, photographers and videographers to the check presentation at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in 101 Jessup Hall.

GTE awards $30,000 to prepare minority students in technology at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa has been awarded a $30,000 grant by the GTE Foundation to support an innovative program to encourage eighth through 11th grade minority students to study mathematics, science and engineering in college.

The grant will be used by the UI's Opportunity at Iowa program to fund "PIVOT: Powerful Innovations=Vision+Opportunity+Technology," which will be conducted over the course of two summers and academic year 1997-1998.

GTE representatives will officially award the grant to UI President

Mary Sue Coleman Thursday, Feb. 13.

"PIVOT will introduce students to the use of computers in engineering and math. Students will have access to technical facilities available through the university and will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience," explained program co-director Barry Butler, UI professor of mechanical engineering. Students also will have an opportunity to build relationships with professional scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technology information specialists. Co-directing PIVOT with Butler will be Professor Bor-Luh Lin, chair of the mathematics department.

Joe Coulter, director of the UI's Opportunity at Iowa program, added that PIVOT will help the students in choosing a high school curriculum that will prepare them for college admission.

"The University of Iowa will benefit from this preparatory program by working more closely with other educational groups across the state in a partnership and by building on its currently limited pool of minority and underrepresented groups for admission to the university as students," he said.

A total of 15 colleges and universities across the nation, including the UI and Iowa State University, received GTE FOCUS grants this year. The grant is awarded as part of the GTE FOCUS program to further the communications company's commitment to provide educational assistance to students, particularly in promoting the creation of a pool of technical talent, according to Robert Bradley, GTE general manager-customer operations.

The PIVOT grant proposal submitted to GTE was written by Eugenia McGee of the UI Division of Sponsored Programs.