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.

Howard University, a historically Black educational institution in Washington, D.C., has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the biophysics of the shield of sugars, or glycans, that typically can shield pathogens. By deconstructing how the glycan shield protects pathogens, scientists can design strategies to breach the shield so that a broad spectrum of pathogens can be made vulnerable to detection, sanitizing, and treatment.

Historically Black Alabama A&M University received a $2,960,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to fund STEM education, outreach, and workforce initiatives for students and educators from early childhood through postsecondary education. The goal is to increase the employability of participants with secondary benefits to enhance the retention and knowledge base of minority STEM students.

Florida State University’s Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement (CARE) will receive $2.6 million over the next ve years to continue funding two programs that support traditionally underrepresented students in higher education. The programs are both designed to improve retention, graduation, financial literacy, and overall academic success rates for Pell-eligible students.

The Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, under the direction of Ibram X. Kendi, received a two-year, $1,5 million grant from the Rockeller Foundation, to study why Black people are dying from the coronavirus at more than two times the rate of White people and other racial disparities.

Hampton University, a historically Black educational institution in Virginia, received a $17.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish the Virginia Workforce Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. The center will provide students the opportunity to develop new skills, provide innovators and inventors the resources to expand existing businesses, and encourage institutions of higher education to foster business development and innovation.

Historically Black Delaware State University has been awarded a $599,905 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a team of researchers to address the problem of gray mold fungus on strawberries. The research team will work to identify elite strawberry lines species for gray mold tolerance, identify molecular markers, and utilize natural volatile compounds for enhancing the shelf life of fruits.

The University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering announced a four-year collaboration with Minneapolis-headquartered digital payment solution Sezzle that includes a $124,000 donation from Sezzle to fund a full, four-year scholarship to a deserving undergraduate student in the college. The first recipient of the scholarship is Jonathan Olaleye who plans on majoring in computer science or computer engineering.

Tennessee State University, a historically Black educational institution in Nashville, has received a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to lead a nationwide team of researchers in the development of new tools to manage a woodboring beetle that attacks trees.

Historically Black Grambling State University and the Grambling University Foundation have been awarded a $500,000 grant for the Economic Development Administration to support redevelopment and revitalization in six regional parishes. The project will involve establishing steps to recovery following a natural disaster. Louisiana has been hit with several devasting hurricanes this fall. The grant program is under the direction of Booby Burkes, a professor of chemistry at the university.

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