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.

Historically Black Savannah State University in Georgia received a three-year, $326,633 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for research into the development of a new biodegradable polyester that does not requirement reinforcement. Such a material could be used to make boat hulls and other items with military and civilian applications.

Texas Christian University received a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the university’s “Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Oral Histories of the Multiracial Freedom Struggle in Texas, 1954-Present” project. More information about the project is available here.

PSC ArtPhilander Smith College, the historically Black educational institution in Little Rock, Arkansas, received a donation of African art valued at $950,000. The collection of 25 pieces of art was donated from the Melissa and Kevin Katz Collection. Both Melissa and Kevin Katz are optometrists who practice in Texas. Mr. Katz is a native of South Africa. “We are extremely proud to receive this thoughtful and generous donation from Melissa and Kevin Katz,” said Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, president of Philander Smith College. “We will take great pride and care to showcase these impressive works as part of our extensive art collection.”

kwaraBrown University in Providence, Rhode Island, received a five-year, $1,450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health that will be used to train researchers at the University of Ghana to address the epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis in Ghana. Dr. Awewura Kwara, a professor of medicine at Brown University and the director of the grant project says that “the grant funding will support the training of Ghana scientists and researchers who will acquire complimentary expertise to ultimately develop independent high-quality research to address yet unanswered and emerging questions that could transform tuberculosis prevention and treatment programs for people living with HIV.” Dr. Kwara received his medical training at the University of Ghana and holds a master of public health degree from Tulane University in New Orleans.

beverly-wrightHistorically Black Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, received a $10.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will support the university’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. The center will train students in asbestos, lead, construction, and hazardous waste operations and emergency response. The grant program is under the direction of Dr. Beverly Wright, a professor of sociology and director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. Dr. Wright is a graduate of Grambling State University in Louisiana. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York System.

The University of Massachusetts received a $50,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a mentoring network for minority women faculty in STEM fields at 20 colleges and universities in the northeastern United States.


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