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.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received a $100,000 gift from Grubb Properties that will be used to establish an endowed scholarship fund in honor of Gwendolyn Harrison Smith, the first Black woman to enroll at the university. A graduate of Spelman College, Smith enrolled in the doctoral program in Spanish at the university in 1951.

Historically Black Tuskegee University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham are sharing a $13.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The funds will be used to hire and train 12 new research faculty members across both institutions to support research on racial health disparities. The new faculty will represent areas of research strength with knowledge of diseases that affect Black Americans today, including cancer, obesity, and diabetes, heart diseases, and neuroscience. UAB and Tuskegee scientists will be given a comprehensive support infrastructure including sponsors, mentors, career coaches, institutional research navigators, and professional development opportunities to accelerate the development of collaborative networks and peer support.

Alcorn State University, the historically Black educational institution in Mississippi, received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support the university’s Talent Search program. The program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to higher education.

A team of Florida State University researchers from the College of Nursing, College of Medicine, and College of Arts & Sciences has received a $12.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build a diverse community of early career researchers committed to improving mental health and chronic disease prevention and management. The university will use the funding to create the FLORIDA-FIRST BRIGADE, a program designed to support new tenure-track assistant professors and build a research community committed to diversity and inclusive excellence.

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