Dow awards UHV grant to support new computer science camp

The University of Houston-Victoria recently received a $7,500 grant from the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation to support a new computer science summer camp for Victoria-area middle school girls.

Jeffrey Di Leo

The Dow Gives Community Grant program will provide funding for organizers of the UHV Texas Women in Computing Summer Camp to purchase portable computers and a portable computer station for female students to learn programming, wiring and source code tuning. The camp is scheduled to take place in July for up to 12 middle school girls.

“This grant is a welcome show of support for UHV’s efforts to reach younger students and enhance their education,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “There is a need for more women to participate in computer science and other related fields, and this contribution will help us boost that interest in the Victoria area.”

Middle school girls will be able to submit applications through a website hosted by UHV, and camp attendees will be chosen from the applicants. Flyers with more information will be sent to individual schools by the end of March, including the date and application information. In general, applicants should show an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, particularly those related to computers, said Amjad Nusayr, UHV assistant professor of computer science, who will be leading the camp.

“Partnering with UHV for this camp was easy,” said Whitney Bolger, Dow communications manager. “The coding skills these young women will learn through the camp will give them a solid foundation for the STEM education of the future. Our goal is to see this camp inspire the girls to pursue careers in STEM fields, and we look forward to seeing our future Dow team members in attendance.”

The purpose of the camp is to help young women learn about and explore STEM fields, Nusayr said.

Amjad Nusayr

“In general, the majority of students in STEM fields are male,” he said. “We would like this camp to encourage more young women to pursue studies and careers in computer science and other STEM subjects.”

The grant from Dow is the second grant the camp has received. In 2018, the UHV School of Arts & Sciences also was awarded a $30,000 grant from Alcoa Foundation to support the camp and several STEM programs, including Math & Robotics Awareness Day, an afterschool high school robotics class, and summer camps for robotics and mathematics.

“It is amazing to know that two major STEM-related companies in our area are willing to invest in UHV’s efforts,” Nusayr said. “We are so grateful for their support, and we look forward to being able to use these funds to empower young women to pursue their interests.”

As the university plans the camp, Nusayr also would like feedback from the community to enhance the program or to find out about community organizations that would like to partner with UHV, he said.

For more information, contact Nusayr at or 361-570-4311.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.