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 Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, received a $2 million grant from the Minority Business Development Agency to support the efforts of the college’s Women’s Business Center. Under the grant program, the WBC will implement initiatives designed to address the unique needs of socially and economically disadvantaged women entrepreneurs in South Carolina.

The University of Rhode Island received a four-year, $1.14 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help students from underrepresented groups pursue studies in undergraduate bioengineering and bioscience research programs and eventually apply to graduate school in these disciplines. The Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity (ESTEEMED) program plans to enroll up to 10 URI students each year. The goal is to develop a cohort of scholars who embody critical thinking, engineering design, and fundamental research skills that enable them to develop an early scientific inquiry and research mindset; and to support the development of scholars’ STEM identity and self-efficacy through self-exploration, faculty and near-peer mentoring, academic and professional development advising, academic support and preparation, and positive research experiences. The program will provide first-year students with $10,000 stipends and sophomores with $12,000 stipends.

Alabama State University, the historically Black educational institution in Montgomery, received a $375,000 grant from the National Institute of Health to help fight the scourge of drug-related deaths by studying microbiomes in deaths caused by cocaine overdose. The project has the potential to aid forensic investigators and law enforcement in solving homicides.

Historically Black Morgan State University in Baltimore received a three-year, $399,747 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to prepare minority-serving institution faculty members to conduct high-quality education research that advances knowledge pertaining to the impact of trauma-informed teaching practices in online learning environments. Trauma manifests in ways that educators find acutely challenging in an academic setting. Chief among them include the propensity for traumatized students’ struggle to engage in traditional school activities, regulate their effort and motivation, authentically participate in classroom discussions, and persist to graduation.

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