Seattle, WA – March 29, 2023

Washington Research Foundation (WRF) has awarded a $208,500 grant over three years to the Washington State University (WSU) Team Mentoring Program (TMP). The funding is key to enabling the expansion of the program, which focuses on increasing support and improving graduation rates for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

The Foundation has supported TMP since 2016, originally providing a one-year, $25,000 grant. It has renewed its pledges annually, increasing to $30,000 in 2019. This year’s larger, multi-year grant illustrates WRF’s growing commitment to investing in the next generation of diverse STEM professionals, helping WSU reach more students through the program. Other key supporters of the program include Boeing and Alaska Airlines.

“We are continuously looking for pathways to strengthen and expand the program to give more students access to support that will help them thrive and be better positioned to succeed,” said TMP program director Samuel Rodriguez-Flecha, Ph.D. “This funding from WRF will allow us to support a greater number of students in STEM and pre-health majors.”

The Team Mentoring Program is designed to maximize the experience of students pursuing STEM and pre-health degrees, aiming to increase retention, achievement and graduation rates. It provides opportunities for network-building, academic and professional development, internships, research experiences, scholarships and more. Mentoring is a key feature of the program, including training on how to be an effective mentor and mentee. Mentorship can come from faculty, or as peer mentorship from other students. Faculty members are committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise with students, while peer mentors can provide valuable insights into their experiences pursuing a STEM degree.

“The Team Mentoring Program has given me opportunities to grow as a person with the people I have met during it. It has challenged me to get out of my comfort zone through networking, organizing an event, and even working with others as a team,” said Joey Marielle Rosario, a lead peer mentor in the program.

In 2018 the program received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. During the pandemic, the program adapted to enable effective virtual engagement. This was a necessary pivot as many students graduated high school and began college in a virtual learning environment.

“We are proud to support a pipeline of young talent into health, science and technology majors at WSU,” said Meher Antia, Ph.D., director of grant programs for WRF. “Mentorship opportunities are invaluable experiences, and we know the lasting impact programs like these can have on our future leaders.”

To learn more about WSU’s Team Mentoring Program, visit