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.

Shaw University, the historically Black educational institution in Raleigh, North Carolina, received a $100,000 grant from the MacDonalds Corporation to support the university’s Platinum Sound Marching Band. The funds will benefit the band’s enhancement and expansion goals, helping them continue to perform in style, provide scholarships to band members, create recruitment opportunities, and provide equipment and instruments, such as their sousaphones, which have not been replaced in more than a decade. The band recently appeared in a McDonald’s television commercial.

Historically Black South Carolina State University receive a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for programs to enhance physics and chemistry instruction at both the collegiate and secondary school levels. About 100 high-definition videos of laboratory experiments and lecture presentations will be created and used by classes on the South Carolina State campus. The videos also will be distributed to a wider audience – including high school teachers – through social media.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst received a $511,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund research examining diversity and networking in law school. The researchers say that networking – the process of creating a professional support system of colleagues, mentors, and connections – is a critical part of building a successful law career. While law students are encouraged to start growing their professional network in school, they say that students of diverse backgrounds – including race, gender, sexual orientation, national status, or class – may not have the same access to “resource-rich” social networks. These “network inequalities” may impact the overall value of a legal education and lead to differences in career success after graduation.

Historically Black Delaware State University has received a four-year, $431,000 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences under the National Institute of Health for a research project on medical imaging analysis to contribute novel and non-invasive techniques for studying the human body composition and its changes. The research will also develop machine learning (artificial intelligence) methods to achieve timely diagnosis and prognosis.

Virginia Union University, the historically Black educational institution in Richmond, has announced it is the recipient of a $1 million grant from Bank of America for its new Workforce Development and Financial Markets Program called “MORE,” which stands for My Opportunity is Real Essential. The program will allow the university to bring financial literacy tools to communities that may not have access otherwise.

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