Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans in Higher Education

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 South Carolina State University has received a $581,863 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct research and develop an agricultural and entrepreneurial leadership model to sustain small farmers in South Carolina. The project’s research component will identify and analyze factors to determine why some small farms in South Carolina are successful and others are not. The research will be under the direction of Barbara Adams, dean of South Carolina State University’s College of Business.

Four historically Black universities are sharing a $5,760,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The grant will support projects that address critical needs for developing global food security and defense; enhancing academic and career activities for students pursuing careers in food and agricultural sciences; and addressing vital needs in nutrition and health to improve the quality of life of underserved populations. The HBCUs participating in the program at Tuskegee University, Southern University, North Carolina A& T State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.   

The University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky, and Bluegrass Community & Technical College are sharing a $1.7 million grant from Toyota that will increase opportunities for underrepresented students and assist them in earning engineering degrees. Beginning this fall, 35 students over a five-year period will be selected to receive full-tuition scholarships. The students also will be mentored by Toyota engineers and participate in a paid co-op opportunity with the company, earning $17 to $21 per hour. Additionally, students will complete two to three co-op rotations that will provide critical hands-on experience in multiple areas of the field.

Historically Black Florida A&M University received a $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide conservation training to African American farmers in North Florida, South Alabama, and South Georgia at the university’s Brooksville Agricultural and Environmental Research Station. As part of the proposed project, recruited conservation specialists will provide the underserved farmers and ranchers with community assistance, transfer of technology, develop natural resources tools and information to address concerns in soil, water, air, animals, and plants.

Tulane University in New Orleans received a $1 million gift from alumna, board member, and vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives at Apple Inc., Lisa Jackson and her husband, Kenneth, to expand the Newcomb-Tulane College Summer Experience program. Previously, 15 students participated in the 51⁄2-week program include people of color, first-generation college students, LGBTQ+ students, and College Track scholarship recipients. With the gift from the Jacksons, the number of participants will double.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine received a $3.5 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to address the underrepresentation of Black adults in Alzheimer’s disease research. In the past, diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease could only definitively be made using an autopsy. Today, there are tools to visualize its pathological markers. The goal of the grant program is to create one of the largest neuroimaging cohorts of Black individuals to date, in addition to training underrepresented minorities in the science and clinical care of Alzheimer’s disease.

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