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.

The University of Maryland‘s A. James Clark School of Engineering received a three-year, $3 million grant from Lockheed Martin. The grant will fund work related to vertical takeoff and landing research at the school’s rotorcraft lab. The funds will also be used to support the Clark School’s Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering. The Center looks to increase the enrollment of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis received a five-year, $3 million grant to fund an intervention program aimed at reducing HIV risk for women sex workers in Uganda. Nearly 1,000 women will be given either savings accounts, financial literacy skills, or vocational training. Investigators hope that improving women’s financial situations and job prospects will result in less sexual risk-taking and limit the spread of HIV.

Morehouse College, the historically Black educational institution for men in Atlanta received a $2 million grant from William F. Picard and  Judson W. Pickard Jr. to fund the Pickard Scholars program at the college. The Pickards are entrepreneurs who have several McDonald’s franchises. The new scholarship program will benefit students in Cincinnati, Detroit, and Flint, Michigan, as well as students from their home town of LaGrange, Georgia.

Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis received a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund the college’s efforts to close equity and achievement gaps between White students and students of color in course success, retention, and graduation rates. African Americans make up 62 percent of the student body at the college.

Iowa State University received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a three-year study that will look at the experiences of Ph.D. mathematics students who come from underrepresented communities, such as people of color and women. The study is under the direction of Michael Young, an associate professor of mathematics at the university. “It’s important to study the experiences of high-achieving students of color who report positive experiences in these programs,” Dr. Young said. “Their insight will allow us to aggregate the data and pinpoint the exact methods, conditions, and strategies that enable these students to fully engage and thrive during their academic journeys.”

Morgan State University, the historically Black educational institution in Baltimore, received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support the university’s research in biofuels. The grant will support research opportunities for students in STEM disciplines.

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