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.

Grambling State University, the historically Black educational institution in Louisiana, received a three-year, $670,204 from the National Science Foundation for a program that will prepare students from historically Black colleges and universities to pursue graduate studies in the environmental toxicology Ph.D. program at historically Black Southern University in Baton Rouge. In addition to their research at Grambling, students will receive $6,000 for a summer internship at Southern University, which will include a stipend plus room and board. The program is under the direction of Waneene C. Dorsey, a professor of Biology at Grambling State University.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine received a $3.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to combat cervical cancer in the sub-Saharan African nation of Botswana. The mortality rate for cervical cancer in Botswana is 10 times the rate in the United States. The new grant will allow researchers to identify communication and support strategies, such as text messages or phone-based patient navigation, that are best equipped to close gaps in the care of cervical cancer patients.

Historically Black Clark Atlanta University was recently awarded a three-year, $578,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a digital humanities infrastructure at the college. The funding will allow the university to organize faculty development workshops that introduce various computational tools and concepts that can be used in the classroom or included in collaborative research projects and to conduct summer institutes focused on the context necessary to understand digital humanities and its relationship to the recovery, honoring, preservation, and storytelling of the Black experience.

The Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University in Philadelphia has received a $1 million gift from Stephen A. Sheller and Sandra Sheller to establish an endowment that will permanently fund and expand an initiative that was created in 2019 to prepare undergraduate students and working professionals, from backgrounds typically underrepresented in the legal field, to study and practice law. The Stephen and Sandra Sheller Diversity Pipeline Program strives to advance diversity and inclusion in the legal profession via free workshops, classes, and networking programs.

Historically Black Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina is participating in a grant program led by George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, to develop technology that analyzes data and trends related to sex trafficking. The goal of the research is to deliver a software architecture for cross-model extension to include viable machine-learning models and algorithms will assist law enforcement in identifying perpetrators and targets. Elizabeth City State University will receive $342,076 over two years from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for its portion of the grant.

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