SCILS Center receives additional funding for STEM engagement

Jun 7, 2023 | Education and Human Sciences, General News, Partnerships, Research

The Region 8 LaSTEM Center, the STEM Collective for Innovative Louisiana Stakeholders (SCILS), has been selected for another three years of funding to continue leveraging comprehensive partnerships and various unique and powerful resources to expand the impact of LaSTEM’s work across north Louisiana.

“I am thrilled that SCILS was selected to serve another three-year term as LASTEM’s Region 8 STEM Center. The exceptional impact of their work over the Center’s initial three years has been truly transformative across the region. Guided by the unwavering dedication of the Center Director and her team, SCILS will certainly continue making remarkable progress in offering STEM education and workforce opportunities for individuals of all ages in northeast Louisiana,” said Dr. Clint Coleman, Program Administrator of LASTEM, Louisiana Board of Regents.”

The Center is one of nine in the state of Louisiana funded through the Louisiana Board of Regents. It was established in partnership with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) stakeholders along the Interstate-20 corridor and serves Louisiana’s Region 8 from Caddo Parish to East Carroll Parish as a Louisiana Regional STEM Network member.

“It is truly rewarding to know we now have another three years to build upon the incredible foundation that was established during the initial funding phase for this initiative,” said Cathi Cox-Boniol, SCILS Region 8 LaSTEM Center Director. “When reflecting on how the SCILS Region 8 LaSTEM Center has not only expanded its impact but also refined its vision during that time, it is exciting to think about the possibilities as we move forward.”

Over the last three years, SCILS has provided many opportunities to meet and achieve its objectives set in collaboration with the mission of the Louisiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Advisory Council (LaSTEM):

  • to create, deliver, and promote STEM education programs
  • to increase student interest and achievement in the fields of STEM
  • to ensure the alignment of education, economic development, industry, and workforce needs
  • to increase the number of women who graduate from a postsecondary institution with a STEM degree or credential

“We are pleased the Louisiana Board of Regents is reinvesting in the collaborative partnership that is SCILS and the solutions that are being co-constructed to impact education and workforce along I-20 ,” said Dr. Lindsey Vincent, Associate Dean for Research, Outreach, and Technology “The regional leaders in PK-12, industry, government and higher ed that are engaging in dialogue and creating efforts to elevate our region are committed to this work and ensuring success for our region. We are grateful to serve as a hub for this activity in the College of Education and Human Sciences at Louisiana Tech University.”

For Dean Don Schillinger, there is a sense of gratitude for the impact being generated through this ongoing work within the College.

“I am grateful that the College of Education and Human Sciences has the opportunity to serve as the home for SCILS and the outstanding STEM objectives being accomplished through the center,” stated Schillinger.

In reflecting on the role SCILS plays as a hub within the ever-growing STEM ecosystem across North Louisiana, Cox-Boniol sees new opportunities for more customized planning throughout the region.

“With our growing network of stakeholders and partners, we will now continue developing programming that allows us to be both intentional and strategic in our efforts to offer equitable STEM opportunities throughout our region,” Cox-Boniol said. “It will be exciting for us to take things to the next level as we continue working together to create robust STEM opportunities that have the potential to transform lives as well as our future.”

To learn more about the SCILS effort and the Board of Regents LASTEM initiative, visit  or email