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.

Vanderbilt University in Nashville received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support research on racial disparities in Alzheimer’s and other diseases. The funds will be used to develop and test recruiting materials aimed at encouraging older African Americans to participate in Alzheimer’s research. The project is under the direction of Renã A.S. Robinson, an associate professor of chemistry. Dr. Robinson is a graduate of the University of Louisville and holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Alabama State University received a $294,725 U.S. Department of Education Student Support Services grant. The funds will be used for programs to help more students succeed and graduate from the university. The programs include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, and career and college mentoring.

Alumni Jeff and Sarah Joerres have committed $1.5 million to Marquette University in Milwaukee. Half of the donation will be earmarked for study abroad opportunities, paid internships, and experiential learning trips for first-generation college students from underrepresented groups.

The National Science Foundation has made a $1 million grant to the Tampa Bay Bridge to Baccalaureate Alliance. The alliance includes St. Petersburg College, Hillsborough Community College, and the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota. The funds will be used to help increase diversity and support underrepresented communities in pursuit of science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees.

Historically Black Delaware State University received a $591,628 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund undergraduate research in hemp production. The grant program is under the direction of Kimberly Milligan, a visiting assistant professor of chemistry at the university. Dr. Milligan holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. in applied chemistry from Delaware State University.

Gene and Yolanda Camarena have made a $1 million donation to Wichita State University. More than half of the gift will provide scholarships for 20 Hispanic and Black students annually for the next four years. The remainder of the funds will provide mentoring and tutoring for scholarship recipients, establishing a visiting professorship for a scholar from an underrepresented group, and hiring a diversity officer for the admissions office.

Historically Black Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama, received a $168,000 gift to establish the Joann Bashinsky Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide three, four-year scholarships to competitively selected students who lack the financial resources to attend college. Mrs. Bashinsky is the widow of Sloan Y. Bashinsky, who was the founder, chairman, and CEO of Golden Flake Foods.

The library of the Black Cultural Center on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, received an Advancing Racial Equity Collection Development grant from Indiana Humanities. The grant will fund the purchase of new materials related to issues of race, diversity and inclusion. The new materials will support the center’s ongoing educational efforts, including coordinating public workshops and assisting student research.

Howard University, the historically Black educational institution in Washington, D.C., received a two-year, $550,000 grant from the Guy Foundation in the United Kingdom. The funds will support the Quantum Biology Laboratory at the university in exploring fundamental questions at the nexus of quantum theory, electrodynamics, and biosystems.


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