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.

Through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Woskob Foundation, and Penn State’s Office of International Programs, a research team from Pennsylvania State University has conducted a two-part international study focused on improving food safety knowledge and practices in Africa. Based on their observation of food safety laboratories in Africa, the research team developed a customized training program for those laboratories to strengthen food systems in their countries. Additionally, the team hosted three, five-day food safety workshops in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Mozambique, which focused on topics such as food-borne pathogens, lab safety, aseptic techniques, record-keeping, training, trouble shooting and data analysis.

With funding from the National Institute on Aging, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and several community partners are launching a two-year project that will help Latino and African American families better avert “crisis points” from occurring to their elderly loved ones with dementia. These “crisis points” are potentially dangerous incidents such as leaving the stove unattended or getting lost outside the home. The goal of this project is to collect representative examples of early indicators of advancing memory loss, and head off disaster by providing this information to families and health care providers of individuals who haven’t reached a crisis point yet.

The University of Maryland has received a $1 million gift from alumnus Brendan Iribe, co-founder of the virtual reality company Oculus, to establish the Iribe Initiative for Inclusion and Diversity in Computing. The initiative aims to increase diversity and foster a stronger environment of inclusion in the university’s department of computer science. The new funding will support tutoring for required introductory computer science classes, computing-related student organization activities, a computer science inclusion speaker seminar series, and funding to attend computing conferences. Additionally, the gift will fund after-school programs and summer camps for elementary through high school students from all backgrounds.


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