Higher Education Grants of Interest to African Americans

money-bag-2Here is this week’s news of grants to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

North Carolina A&T State University, a historically Black educational institution in Greensboro, received a grant from NBCUniversal to develop initiatives to increase the number of graduates of HBCUs who pursue careers in journalism. As part of the agreement, NBCUniversal will sponsor the National Association of Black Journalists Short Media Course for the next four years. The company will also sponsor internships for students in the university’s department of journalism and mass communication.

Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, received an $800,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support efforts to increase faculty diversity. The funds will support the university’s Bridge to Retirement, Bridge to Renewal program where faculty who are retiring will spend a year with a new minority faculty member in a mentoring relationship.

aileruHistorically Black Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina received a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for programs to help undergraduate students prepare to compete for spots in medical schools and in M.D./Ph.D. programs. The program is under the direction of Azeez Aileru, a professor of neuroscience and the director of the Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center at the university. Dr. Aileru holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from North Carolina Central University and a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the College of Medicine at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

lmedaXavier University, the historically Black educational institution in New Orleans, received a five-year $5 million grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for research to improve the safety and performance of lithium batteries. The program is under the direction of Lamartine Meda, a professor of chemistry at the university. Dr. Meda joined the Xavier faculty in 2008, after serving on the faculty at Auburn University in Alabama. He is a graduate of Salem State University in Massachusetts and earned a Ph.D. in material organic chemistry from Northeastern University in Boston.

Historically Black Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, received a three-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for programs to increasing retention and graduation rates of students in STEM fields. The program will be led by Ruth Washington, dean of the division of sciences at the college, with the assistance of Walter Shumate, associate professor of chemistry, and Llancyllius Williams, an instructor in mathematics.

The U.S. government is setting aside $60 million for its First in the World grant competition. The grants will fund the development and testing of innovative approaches and strategies to improve postsecondary education attainment, particularly for students from underrepresented minority groups. Of the total set-aside, $16 million will be allocated to minority-serving institutions such as historically Black colleges and universities. The deadline for grant applications is June 26, 2015. All grants will be awarded no later than September 30, 2015. Information on applying for a grant under this program is available here.


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