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 Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina has been awarded nearly $180,000 from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to offer a Drone Exploration Academy program to middle and high school students in northeastern North Carolina. The university hopes that its new program will increase middle school and high school student interest in STEM, drone field experience, and engineering design as well as setting them on a path to become successful in college and their future careers.

The Penn State Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization, along with Norfolk State University and Tidewater Community College in Virginia, have received a $1.2 million grant to form the Southeast Coalition for Engagement and Exchange in Nanotechnology Education (SCENE) Louis Stokes Regional Center of Excellence in Broadening Participation. SCENE will focus on increasing recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority undergraduate and graduate students at HBCUs and community colleges with large enrollments of students from underrepresented groups. The partnership will provide online learning opportunities and hands-on research opportunities for HBCU students in the institutions’ state-of-the-art nanotechnology programs in an effort to get more students from underrepresented groups interested in STEM fields.

Historically Black Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has received a $100,00 renewal grant for the university’s implementation component of a statewide project known as the Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LS-LAMP). This is the fourth year the university has secured funding for the program. As the lead institution, Southern University coordinates mentoring and related activities on the 11 other Louisiana campuses that are a part of LS-LAMP.

Historically Black Clark Atlanta University has received a $234,648 grant to fund four Clare Boothe Luce Undergraduate Scholarships in Cyber-Physical Systems in Mathematics over the next two years. The scholarships support women in the physical science and engineering fields by covering educational expenses for two women students per department, so the students can focus on their studies during their last two years of their undergraduate education. Clark Atlanta University is one of the few HBCUs to received one of these grants.

Two programs from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, have received Mellon Foundation grant funding from the Associated Colleges of the South to continue  programs which were established within the past year. The first program, the Hendrix College Microaggressions and Microaffirmations Project, is aimed at raising awareness about microaggressions and promoting the campus adoption of microaffirmations in an effort to encourage greater inclusivity in campus communities. The second program, ACS FOCUS (Faculty of Color Uniting for Success), addresses the challenges that faculty of color face in their path to professional success. The additional funding will allow ACS FOCUS to provide a second summer institute for faculty of color.

The state of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission received a $689,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation to help the state eliminate disparities in education rates between the overall population and students from African-American, Latino, and Native American backgrounds. The funds will help Oregon find adults with some college experience but who have not yet earned a degree and encourage them to consider re-enrolling.

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York City has received a $585,000 grant from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation to purchase a new mobile dental clinic to serve minority and low-income children in Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, and the Bronx through the school’s Community DentCare program. The new vehicle will replace an older model, reach previously inaccessible areas, reduce costs, and upgrade the clinic with state-of-the-art equipment. The clinic provides over 3,000 dental visits per year at nearly 70 Head Start, daycare, and foster care facilities. Additionally, the program offers oral health screenings to the elderly at local community centers.

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