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 Meharry Medical College has received a $7.5 million grant from e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs. The college will use the new funds to open a Center for the Study of Social Determinants of Health and to conduct fully-independent research into the health conditions and issues related to tobacco and nicotine-delivery products.

Willie James Jennings, an associate professor of systematic theology and Africana studies at Yale Divinity School, has received a grant from the Issachar Fund to advance his research on the relationship between race, Christianity, and the built environment. The project centers around Jennings’ book in progress, tentatively titled Reframing the World. Additionally, Jennings will use the new funds to organize a major conference at Yale on race and place.

The Florida A&M University Foundation has received $112,000 in gifts to create the Arthenia L. Joyner Endowed Scholarship. Joyner was the Florida Senate Minority Leader and a two-time alumna of FAMU. The new scholarship will be awarded annually to an African-American woman who is a FAMU Law student with a commitment to social justice and a history of community or public service.

Xavier University of Louisiana has received a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support initiatives designed to expand its community college student pipeline and to establish a new summer bridge program. The funds will support on-going university efforts to engage more community college students including streamlining the administrative process, clarifying course requirements, and reducing course-related hindrances to graduation. Additionally, the funds will establish the Mellon Humanities Summer Scholars Initiative, which will provide potential community college transfer students with an opportunity to “test” drive” the university.

Alabama State University has received a $75,000 grant from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to implement Apple technology into the university’s classrooms. The grant will also help build institutional expertise and capabilities, graduate students who are job-ready with industry-level certifications, and additionally share the expertise and training with Trenholm State Community College, the Montgomery Public School System, and the River Region community at-large.

The School of Education and Psychology at Alcorn State University in Mississippi has received an over $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation for the School’s “Be Brave, Teach STEM: Building a Diverse Teacher STEM Workforce in Mississippi,” program. The program is designed to ensure that talented STEM majors become K-12 mathematics and science teachers. The grant will allow the university to serve as a STEM educator hub for rural southwest Mississippi.

The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff has received a $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support the Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ARK-LSAMP) for the implementation of a Louis Stokes Pathways Research Alliance Program. The program aims to help increase the pool and diversity of STEM graduates who will enter graduate school and the STEM workforce in Arkansas and beyond. ARK-LSAMP is a collaborative efforts of eight institutions: UAPB (the lead institution), Arkansas State University, historically Black Philander Smith College, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Southeast Arkansas College, the University of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas Little Rock, and the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College.

The School of Education athistorically Black North Carolina Central University has received a $100,000 gift from the Rehab Therapy Foundation Inc. to establish the H. Donell Lewis Graduate Fellowship in honor of Dr. H. Donnell Lewis, a renowned speech pathologist and retired director of the university’s communication disorders program. The fellowship will support graduate students enrolled in its communication disorders program.

Elizabeth City State University, a historically Black educational institution in North Carolina, has received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to advance the education of biology majors studying plant sciences. The funds will be used to expand research opportunities for undergraduates, establish mentoring programs, and invite plant scientists to present at seminars and work with the ECSU campus and surrounding community.

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