Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02), the Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Sethuraman Panchanathan, and Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech) President Dr. Scott Ralls celebrated millions in federal funding that institutions in Wake County have received through NSF. Recent NSF grants for Wake Tech have included $1.4 million for the college’s STEM Academic Research & Training (START) program and more than $500,000 to enhance manufacturing training for students. In addition to Wake Tech, Congresswoman Ross and Director Panchanathan visited North Carolina State University (NC State), which has received millions in federal funding from NSF, making it the top NSF-funded academic institution in North Carolina.

“Community colleges and universities like Wake Tech and NC State are shaping the future of North Carolina, and I was excited to welcome Director Panchanathan to Wake County today,” said Congresswoman Ross. “North Carolina is a hub of innovation and progress, and the support our state has received through NSF funding is a testament to our leadership in the STEM fields. I look forward to seeing everything that our outstanding institutions in Wake County will continue to accomplish through our strong partnerships with NSF.”

“I am very excited and thankful for Representative Ross’ invitation to visit North Carolina, a place where technological innovation has flourished, and fundamental research has led to groundbreaking discoveries,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “At NSF, we are focused on cultivating a STEM workforce for the future by reaching students in every region of our nation, ensuring that innovation and opportunities exists everywhere for them to succeed in the STEM enterprise. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnerships with academia, government, and industry to support students in North Carolina for decades to come.”

“Not many community colleges offer undergraduate research opportunities for students,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “NSF grant funding makes it possible to offer this unique program and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Congresswoman Ross supported robust funding for NSF in the CHIPS and Science Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in August. This historic package authorized $81 billion in funding for NSF over five years, doubling the agency’s budget. Included in this legislation were five of Congresswoman Ross’ bills and amendments to bolster cybersecurity, clean energy technology, research initiatives, and STEM education in the Research Triangle and across the country.