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University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly UT Pan American) - University of Minnesota

With a strong focus on nanofibers, this partnership (which began with UT Pan American) has provided research opportunities for 135 students that included incorporating them as scientific presenters and paper collaborators--and also as partners in submitting 12 patent applications (some licensed). While a high percentage of students come to the partnership without the advantage of strong scientific backgrounds, the program has seen a 100 percent retention and graduation rate among its undergraduates. The partnership's research has important applications for areas of study such as sensor development, novel lithium-ion batteries and spintronics.