Rutgers GSE CMSI

Winning Strategies to Secure NSF Funding for MSIs

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 3:00 PM ET

Interested in how to secure National Science Foundation (NSF) funding as an MSI scholar? This webinar, co-sponsored by VentureWell, will provide an overview of NSF's Build and Broaden program, which focuses on increasing research and scholarship at MSIs. Listen in on a guided, panel discussion that will share advice and best practices for how to secure NSF funding at an MSI. The panel will feature two scholars at MSIs who have previously secured NSF funding and NSF Program Director Enrique S. Pumar.

Moderated by Marybeth Gasman, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University

Panelists include:

  • Enrique S. Pumar, Program Director at the NSF, Professor in the department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Trina Fletcher, Assistant Professor of Engineering Education, Florida International University
  • Bryan Kent Wallace, Dean of Graduate Studies, Fisk University
  • Demetria Gallagher, Evaluation and Marketing & Communications, VentureWell


view the event in full here


Enrique S. Pumar joined the Santa Clara Department of Sociology in 2017 as Fay Boyle University Professor. Pumar is currently affiliated with the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University. In 2017, he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Valladolid in Spain and was named Visiting Lecturer at the Cultural Institute Felix Varela in La Habana, Cuba, a degree-granting institution sponsored by the Vatican. The author of over 50 publications, he recently co-edited a special issue of the journal Sustainability and is currently working on a special issue of Sociology of Development journal. 

He serves on the editorial board of multiple academic journals including Sociological Forum, Contemporary Sociology, and Sociology of Development and is the Contributing Editor for Sociology for the Handbook of Latin American Studies published by the Library of Congress. Pumar frequently provides expert analysis of social issues for various media outlets including CNN, Telemundo, and Univision. He chairs the Sociology of Development Section (2021-2023) and is a member of the Program Reviewers and Consultant Group, both at the American Sociological Association. Enrique teaches courses in sociological theory, international migration, national development, and comparative sociology. Enrique is on academic leave to serve as Program Director for the National Science Foundation, where he manages the Build and Broaden Program, Science of Broadening Participation, Broaden Participation in Innovation, and the HBCU Excellence in Research, all trying to promote research and innovation among MSIs.

Trina L. Fletcher is the founder of m3i journey, a start-up focused on holistic financial well-being, the co-founder of Fletcher Education Solutions, and an Assistant Professor of Engineering and Computing Education at Florida International University. Her research and programmatic portfolio consist of asset-based studies on women and people of color in STEM, financial literacy for low-income and first-generation students, and continuous process improvement across the educational ecosystem. Trina uses a mixed-method approach incorporating existing data results to drive qualitative analysis focused on her target populations. Most recently, she received the National Science Foundation Early Faculty CAREER award to develop a national, large-scale longitudinal database on STEM professionals' experiences who participated in out-of-school K-12 programs. Additionally, she recently completed a 3-year rotation as an elected steering committee member for EngineerGirl, the leading initiative for the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to increase the number of girls pursuing engineering. She serves as PI, Co-PI, or lead researcher for several federal and foundation-funded grants from companies, including Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, and Motorola. Trina's professional experience before academia includes engineering and operations positions for two Fortune 500 companies and serving as the Director of Pre-college Programs for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). 

Bryan Kent Wallace is a highly accomplished physicist and educator who currently serves as the Dean of Graduate Studies at Fisk University. In addition, he is the Discipline Coordinator (Chair of the Physics Program) and Director of Physics Laboratories, where he is responsible for modernizing and instructing all physics undergraduate laboratories and curricula. Kent's passion for STEM education has led him to serve as the Primary Investigator for Fisk University's Rocket Science Program, called the Altitude Achievement Missile Team (F.A.A.M.T), which placed 4th overall in its first year of a NASA competition, beating out schools with engineering and aerospace engineering programs. He also secured a $750k grant from the Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program for STEM underrepresented minority student retention.

Kent's dedication to increasing access and representation in STEM fields extends beyond his work at Fisk University. He is an active member of the executive board of the National Society of Black Physicists, where he serves as treasurer. He has also served on a select committee for the National Academy of Sciences: Science Activation Committee to assess NASA's Science Activation Program and on the WGBH BUAC DEI Advisory Group, which is developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Framework for K-12 science education. He also plays a key role in the Fisk-Vanderbilt Steering Committee, which aims to bridge underrepresented populations in attaining a Masters in several STEM-related fields and bridging them to the Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. Kent's expertise in engaging young and adult learners through STEM-related outreach programs utilizing, but not limited to Physics, Astronomy, Rocketry, and Robotics makes him an invaluable asset to the field of STEM education.

Demetria Gallagher leads the Evaluation and Marketing & Communications teams at VentureWell, and supports the development and implementation of an organizational knowledge and learning agenda. She has led across multiple sectors including government, STEM, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Notably, she co-founded the Jamii Group, leading cross-sector business development, innovation, and social impact; she also served as a policy analyst and White House Political Appointee in the administration of former President Barack Obama. Demetria holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s in Sustainable Urban Planning from George Washington University.