National Institute on Aging

Cheyney University Creates the Institute for the Contemporary African American Experience

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania has announced the establishment of the Institute for the Contemporary African American Experience. Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Epcot Crenshaw are among the initial partners in the newly formed institute. Starbucks Foundation also will partner with the institute on a future research project.

Jefferson University, which includes the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and Cheyney University will partner initially on a research project to analyze health disparities among diverse communities in the Philadelphia region. The two historic institutions also will develop a series of agreements to provide new opportunities for Cheyney University students to pursue graduate degrees at Jefferson University in a variety of healthcare fields.

Epcot Crenshaw Corporation will relocate its laboratory facilities to the Cheyney campus, launching the Crenshaw Institute for Applied Science and Technology. The Crenshaw Institute will initially be located in the McKnight Rogers building. The area surrounding the building will be developed to include administrative offices, analytical services laboratories, technology demonstration facilities, greenhouses and new aquaponics research and production facilities.

Cynthia D. Shapira, chair of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors, said that “this new institute will expand the important role Cheyney University plays in the state, the region and the nation. Cheyney is a university already rich in tradition; the establishment of the institute will help secure its future, while providing students exciting new educational and enrichment opportunities; which, in turn, will help to ensure their success, both while enrolled at Cheyney and beyond.”


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  1. Mona Davis says:

    This is a wonderful opportunity for Jefferson to not only study health disparities, but to expand the opportunity to recruit diverse students for enrollment in their nursing, medical and other allied health programs. Studies are traditionally useful measures for engagement, however access and opportunity are the keys that will alleviate the need for health disparity studies in various communities in the Philadelphia Metro area.

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