Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

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

Historically Black Delaware State University received a grant from Campus Consortium to develop a campus safety smartphone app for students and faculty. With just a tap on their phone, students will be able to alert campus police and university medical services and will provide those services with the exact location of the smartphone sending the alert.

Cornell University will receive a five-year, $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to ease the transition of community college students into four-year bachelor’s degree programs in biology at the university. The grant program seeks to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who major in the biological sciences. The program is under the direction of Avery August, professor of immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell. Professor Avery joined the faculty at Cornell in 2010 after teaching at Pennsylvania State University. He received a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in immunology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Rice University in Houston, Texas, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that will examine why the Choctaw Indian nation sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War. The Choctaws owned slaves but were forcibly removed from Alabama and Mississippi prior to the Civil War. The grant is under the direction of Fay A. Yarbrough, an associate professor of history at Rice University. Dr. Yarbrough is the author of Race and the Cherokee Nation: Sovereignty in the 19th Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). Dr. Yarbrough joined the Rice University faculty in 2013 after teaching at the University of Oklahoma. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Rice University and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history from Emory University.

Fort Valley State University, the historically Black educational institution in Georgia, received a $345,406 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for research on stevia, a natural sweetener that can be used as a substitute for sugar. The grant is part of a larger $3.2 million grant program on stevia led by Michigan State University. North Carolina State University and historically Black Alabama A&M University are also participating in the grant.


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