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.

Johnson C. Smith University, the historically Black educational institution in Charlotte, received a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The grant will be used to hire a project coordinator who will construct programming aimed at destigmatizing mental health care. It will also fund training, outreach and support, engagement opportunities with community partners, and more. The program is under the direction of Tierra Parsons, director of counseling services at the university.

Historically Black Bowie State University will launch a new pilot program, BSU Entrepreneurship Xtreme, geared toward pairing STEM students with founders of local startups. The program is funded by a $77,540 grant from TEDCO, a state-supported economic engine for technology companies. The program will provide students with an immersive experiential learning opportunity by pairing them with local tech-based companies. Eight students from the department of technology and security will be placed with partner companies, to work on 2-to-3-month projects providing website development services, software development and testing, and other tech-based support services.

The Feinstein College of Education at the University of Rhode Island has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation to enhance its programs targeting students of color planning to become teachers. The college will use the funds to develop a teacher-preparation program at the Highlander Charter School that includes admissions testing assistance and promotes continuing education credits. The program is aimed at increasing the skills and sense of belonging for urban high school students seeking admission to educator preparation programs, in turn, increasing enrollment, completion, and employment for teacher candidates from racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Historically Black Morgan State University in Baltimore has been awarded a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a research traineeship program in Artificial Intelligence for Climate Change and Environmental SuStainability (ACCESS). The ACCESS program will train nearly 50 Ph.D. students including 25 trainees from diverse scientific fields including, bioenvironmental science, mathematics education, engineering, and computer science. Students largely underrepresented in STEM research of this caliber will gain a critical multidisciplinary understanding of how AI can provide solutions for changing climate, environmental pollution, and water quality management.

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