Higher Education Grants of Interest to African-Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants won by historically black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Historically Black Alcorn State University in Mississippi received a $315,219 grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. The funds will be used to support the university’s Health, Physical Education, and Recreation program. The funding will be used to purchase fitness equipment, renovate the university’s swimming pool, and to develop a fitness program for students, faculty, and staff at the university.

Michigan State University received a $5.8 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for programs to combat bacterial infections in children in sub-Saharan Africa. The research will be under the direction of Stephen Obaro, a professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State. He will coordinate his research effort with physicians at University College Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria.

Claflin University, the historically black educational institution in Orangeburg, South Carolina, received an $86,000 grant from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation of Atlanta The grant will fund general scholarships for students during the 2012-13 academic year. The foundation provides need-based scholarships for Christian women in nine southeastern states.

The University of Miami in Florida received a $1 million donation from Roger Koch, an entrepreneur who once headed Aircraft Modular Parts, a manufacturer of interior components of passenger planes. Half of the $1 million donation will be sued to provide scholarships for African-American engineering students. Koch stated, “When I got involved in the aviation industry after college and began attending different conferences, I would see only one or two Black engineers, sometimes out of a group of attendees numbering in the thousands.” He saw a need to “get more African American college students to major in engineering.”

The University of California at San Diego received a $742,222 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund a program designed to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds gain admission and succeed in health professions education. The grant program is under the direction of Sandra Daley, professor of pediatrics at the university.

Dr. Daley, who is a native of Panama, earned her medical degree at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

Rochester Institute of Technology has received a $534,756 grant from the New York State Department of Education for programs  to enhance the educational experiences of undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups. The grant will fund academic enrichment programs and research opportunities for African American, Latino, and Native American students.

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