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 Tougaloo College in Mississippi received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a process oriented guided inquiry learning curriculum for the chemistry department. Under the plan, students work in small groups with teachers facilitating the learning process.

Hampton University, the historically Black educational institution in Virginia, received a $250,000 donation from alumnus Zachary B. Scott, who has led U.S. domestic operations for UPS. The funds will be used for scholarships for first-generation college students in the university’s School of Business.

The University of Minnesota received a $300,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in honor of Earl Lewis who recently retired as president of the foundation. Dr. Lewis earned a Ph.D. in history at the University of Minnesota. The grant will support graduate students studying African American, Native America, or immigration history.

Historically Black Prairie View A&M University received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the weed amaranthus palmeri, an aggressive weed that is native to the southwestern United States. Yolander Youngblood, an assistant professor of biology at Prairie View A&M University, and her students will conduct research on different combinations of acetic acid, which is the active ingredient in vinegar, as an organic pesticide to determine which amount will work best with keeping the weed invasion under control while causing the least amount of change to the environment. Dr. Youngblood joined the faculty at Prairie View A&M University in 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in botany and plant biology from the University of Florida.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham received a five-year, $841,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study malaria prevention for pregnant women in the African nation of Cameroon. The research will study the efficiency and safety of a new antibiotic regimen to prevent malaria and other infections during pregnancy among women living with HIV in Cameroon.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how gender and racial and ethnic diversity fosters innovation within engineering teams. Nadya Fouad, who holds the Mary and Ted Kellner Endowed Chair of Educational Psychology at the university and is a leader of the project, states that “being part of a team that has good leadership, is open to the perspective of others and where you feel safe, that’s the kind of micro-environment that can transcend the faulty lines of gender, race, and expertise.”

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