September 11, 2015


Washington, D.C. - Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) today announced a $250,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). UTSA's Department of Mechanical Engineering will receive the funding through the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program, which aims to promote and strengthen Hispanic-Serving Institutions' higher education programs that graduate students capable of enhancing America's food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce. Specifically, this grant will support UTSA's BioEnergy And Water for Agriculture Research and Education (BE AWARE) Network project.   

"Diversity in our colleges and universities enriches the learning experience for students and strengthens America's future workforce,"? said Rep. Castro. "As the U.S. population continues to grow, the robustness and resilience of our nation's agricultural sector remain absolutely critical. I'm proud that the USDA and NIFA chose UTSA to receive this selective grant that will prepare San Antonio students of all backgrounds to solve America's most pressing agricultural challenges."

Funding from the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program will help modernize UTSA's agriculture curricula and scientific equipment. The funds will also be used to recruit and retain students from underrepresented groups, prepare faculty to teach a diverse body of students, and increase experiential learning opportunities, especially for underrepresented students. 

Only nine percent of applications submitted to the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program are awarded funding.