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 Dillard University in New Orleans has received a five-year, $1.25 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support the university’s Improving Minority Participation and Completion (IMPACT) through STEM initiative. The program aims to increase student enrollment and retention in the university’s STEM programs. The new funds will help Dillard redesign STEM coursework and provide students with research experience.

Scholars from the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University have received a six-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to address the shortage of STEM teachers in urban schools, especially Black and Latino men. The project will work with community partners and nonprofit organizations to recruit 30 racially diverse professionals with undergraduate degrees in STEM areas. They will then complete a 14-month master’s degree program that will prepare them to become certified science or mathematics teachers in high-needs middle or high schools in two partner districts: Fulton County Schools and Rockdale County Public Schools.

The Gladstone Institutes, a nonprofit biomedical research organization in San Francisco, California, has received funding from the National Institutes of Health for its internship program, Promoting Underrepresented Minorities Advancing in the Science (PUMAS). The program, now in its sixth year, aims to increase the number of minority students who receive undergraduate STEM degrees, boost diversity in the graduate school applicant pool, and increase the number of minority students pursuing a career in biomedical research.

The National Science Foundation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) has recently awarded a $2.25 million grant to Harris-Stowe State University in St Louis. The grant will fund the university’s “Increasing Degree Production through STEM Entrepreneurship and Career Development Activities” program, which will provide university students with STEM entrepreneurship experiences, professional mentoring, and expanded research and internship opportunities.

Dr. Tyrell Carr, an assistant professor in the department of biological and physical sciences at historically Black Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, has received a $299,926 grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant will fund Dr. Carr’s research project, “Research Initiation Award: Identification and Characterization of Cofactor-Linked RNAs in Plants.”

The University of Rochester has received an anonymous gift from two alumni to establish the Paul J. Burgett Distinguished Professorship at the Eastman School of Music. The endowed fund honors the legacy of the late Paul Burgett, a notable Black alumni and former faculty member. During his Rochester career he held many roles including student body president at Eastman, faculty member in the department of music, dean of students at Eastman and for the university, advisor to four university presidents, and as a vice president and general secretary to the university’s board of trustees. He earned both his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

Kent State University in Ohio, the Earth Institute’s Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and the American University of Nigeria have received a $13.3 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to support educational opportunities for children in Nigeria. Currently, about 10.5 million Nigerian children are not in school, 60 percent of whom are girls from Northeast Nigeria. The grant will provide funds for new learning labs, enhanced teacher education, and upgraded math and reading materials at Nigerian schools.

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