Texas Southern University recently announced the receipt of a $5.1 million cancer research grant awarded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). It is one of the largest research grants in the school’s history and part of a $2 billion statewide effort to bolster product and treatment innovations for the disease.
Faculty researchers at North Carolina A&T State University are part of a national air pollution research consortium which has discovered that some pollutants are slower to dissipate in colder temperatures and that federal emissions policy may need to be adapted to adjust in order to prevent lower air quality.
A Delaware State University professor has published research on the link between Veery songbirds and hurricane severity.
There are certain HBCU campuses we easily identify as money-makers in the research and development fields. Florida A&M, Howard, Morehouse School of Medicine, North Carolina A&T, Alabama A&M, Jackson State, Delaware State, University of the Virgin Islands, Tennessee State, and Tuskegee were the top-ranked HBCUs in research spending in 2016, all placing in the top 300 nationally.
Winston-Salem State University placed 585th on the list, but looking over the institution’s grantmaking headlines over the last calendar year shows that WSSU, particularly its School of Health Sciences, is emerging as a national powerhouse in research for social work and public health.
WSSU last week announced a $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Education’s HBCU Graduate Fellowship funding program, which supplements financial support for graduate students attending black colleges. The Rams’ grant will specifically support student access to advanced training in occupational health, nursing, computer science, healthcare administration, teaching, and rehab counseling.
In November, WSSU received $325,000 to help adults in Winston-Salem and surrounding counties become of aware of and to use weight management programs. That award came three weeks after the university received $385,000 to launch a diabetes prevention program, and just a few months after WSSU received a $3 million gift from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Koch Foundation to create a research center dedicated to studying economic mobility in some of North Carolina counties that are proximate to the WSSU campus.
That’s just over $6 million dollars for a school for programs helping African-Americans in one of the states worst plagued with poverty and declining industry. And not only are these programs aimed at helping black folks on the fringes, but they are in areas designed to help residents live wealthier (through advanced education and economic mobility research) and healthier (through diabetes prevention) lives.
Schools, including HBCUs, may gross more in research funding, but there are few schools better than WSSU at putting these awards into directly into people’s lives and in some of the nation’s most vulnerable communities.
Dr. Li-Byarlay has donated an Illumina MiniSeq sequencer (fair market value of $50000) to the College of Science and Engineering and the Land-Grant Programs at Central State University in December 2017. Dr. Li-Byarlay is a new Assistant Professor at CSU.
Jackson State University’s Mississippi Urban Research Center finds inseparable links between poverty and academic performance in under-resourced primary and secondary schools. And communities are taking notice of the results.
Remarks delivered to open the inaugural symposium of Kentucky State University Atwood Institute on Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal.
Welcome to the Inaugural Symposium of the Atwood Institute for Race, Education, and the Democratic Ideal. The symposium, like the institute, is the vision of our 18th president and the institute’s founder, Dr. M. Christopher Brown II. I am Crystal A. deGregory, the institute’s director.
Any success the Atwood enjoys today is undoubtedly due to many, many more people, like the leadership and staff of the offices of Student Enrollment and Brand Identity, as well as Public Engagement and Community Outreach, Student Affairs, Information Technology, Public Safety, and the Office of the President whose names do not appear on the Atwood’s masthead; conversely, any shortcomings are mine alone. I ask your patience as we attempt to bring something larger than ourselves to bear.
Because ours is a courageous vision that sees beyond both the proverbial city and the smoke to continue our campus’ reach onward beyond its outer limits, upward beyond its surrounding environs, and forward to the world.
And not just to the world, but into the kind of world we each deserve; a world where each and every human being has the opportunity, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, or geography to access the promises of the transformative powers of education and of the democratic ideal.
I say the democratic ideal because at the Atwood Institute, we are clear to make the distinction that the revolutionary notion of democracy was not enough to free those theologian and mystic Howard Thurman referred to as “the disinherited” from the shackles of slavery, or from the manacles of a failed Reconstruction, or from the second-class citizenship of Jim Crow.
It was not merely the notion of democracy, but of the lofty pursuit of the promise of the democratic ideal which forced black people, many of them not more than children themselves, students at black colleges including Kentucky State, into restaurants to sit-in, and in doing so to stand-up for the un-cashed check of a more perfect union in which the terror of masked and unmasked vigilantes alike did not bar them from accessing the inalienable rights of life, liberty and justice for all.
For thirty-three years as this institution’s ninth and longest-serving president, Rufus Ballard Atwood used his intellectual acuity and political acumen to make certain that the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s checks to the mission of Kentucky State University were cashed.
A native of Hickman, Kentucky, Atwood had not forgotten the bitterness of an imperfect democracy — the same democracy into which his parents were born enslaved.
I wish to be clear by reiterating, Rufus Ballard Atwood realized his dream of raising Kentucky State to an accredited college, despite the realities, complexities, and limitations of a nation and of a world in which his literal parents, Rufus “Pomp” Atwood and Annie Parker Atwood were once slaves.
He did it here in Kentucky, where, the terror of fifty night riders in Hickman lynched an entire black family of seven — burning them out of their house and gunning them down one, by two, by three — first the father, then the mother holding an infant at her breast, then three small children, with the remaining child, the couple’s eldest son choosing to be burned alive rather than face the fiery mob.
Why were their lives taken? Because the father David Walker was supposedly a “surly negro” who swore “at a white woman.”
Why does this matter? I give you just three reasons.
First, because the consciousness of something like that, happening to a black family with children your age, in the very same city in which you live, does not leave you, ever. Rufus Atwood never forgot it.
Second, because the neighbor of that slain man wished to take his 22 and ½ acre-farm, prior to the killing of he and his family. And upon his murder and that of every person in his household in 1908, an adjacent neighbor absorbed the Walker family’s property, and sold it to another man whose daughter still owed that property as late 2004, some 96 years later.
And third, because respectability and hard work, even a lifetime of it, may not be enough to insulate any one of us from falling victim to a democracy that does not work the same for each and every one of us.
Simply put, if democracy does not work for the least of these — for black men and women (wearing hoodies, selling loose cigarettes, playing with BB guns and while at traffic stops); for Native American and indigenous communities whose plight is longer than the pipelines which run through them; for murdered transgendered women of color whose deaths do no lead off the nightly news; if it does not work for each of them and all of us in the same way in which it works for the occupants of Ivory Towers and of C-Suites at Fortune 500 companies, it does not yet work in all of the ways in which it should.
That is why I am here. That is why you are here. That is why the Atwood Institute exists, and why it bears the name of Rufus Ballard Atwood.
Not because he was a perfect man; not even because he was a great president — perhaps the best this institution has yet known; but because Rufus Ballard Atwood was a good man. And this world needs more good men, and women too.
Meharry Medical College, North Carolina Central University and Tuskegee University were this week announced as members of a consortium of seven colleges and universities awarded a five-year, $122 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish campus-based research centers for minority health issues.
The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the National Institutes of Health, will fund seven new awards to support the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Specialized Centers program. RCMI is designed to support institutional research capacity and foster the career development of new and early career investigators conducting minority health and health disparities research.
The grants will provide support and training for future scientists in public health treatment and research, while expanding research capacity at the participating institutions. The three HBCUs will have focus on awareness building and training for HIV/AIDS, forms of cancer and substance abuse in underrepresented communities.
Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., chancellor of NCCU, said, “The significant research funding provided by the National Institutes of Health elevates North Carolina Central University’s noteworthy work investigating solutions to some of the nation’s toughest health disparities that persist as challenges to communities of color. Through this grant, I am thrilled that Dr. Kumar and his team are already fulfilling three of the six strategic priorities represented in ‘The Eagle Promise’initiative, which focus on expanding research, facilitating innovative strategic partnerships with the Research Triangle Park and building new infrastructure for the university.”
Wilberforce University has received a $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Education to expand its masters degree program in rehabilitation counseling.
The six-year grant will provide resources to fund scholarships, fellowships, and internships for graduate students, and will assist in defraying costs for renovation of teaching and research spaces for the program.
The awarding of this Grant is further affirmation of the Wilberforce Renaissance at work and solid recognition of what can occur when a University community of principled, talented and committed individuals work on behalf of a common good,” says Wilberforce President Herman Felton. “We will continue to be laser-focused in our intention to continue the legacy of excellence established in 1856 at this venerable institution. We are prepared to do the work and it is wonderful to have the resources to support our efforts to significantly enhance and strengthen our Master Program.”
Ridesharing company Lyft has announced plans to partner with online credentialing and nanodegree company Udacity to begin offering scholarships to learners who want to develop self-driving cars.
Lyft wants to create a world filled with self-driving cars, so the ride-hailing company will help the next generation of developers get the education they need to build it. Online education platform Udacity is rolling out a new Lyft-sponsored ” Intro to Self-Driving Cars ” Nanodegree program.
Officials say that the program is designed to invite minorities into racially homogenous STEM maker space – a move that at once slaps at competitor Uber’s issues with diversity, and champions black and Latino creators coming into the future of transportation commerce.
Diversity is crucial for creating solutions that serve everyone, and ridesharing is for everyone. That’s why these scholarships will specifically target communities that are underrepresented in technology in the US.
It is a program that could only fly with private partnerships in the for-profit sector, because non-profit schools with similar goals in program development face long, tedious processes in getting approval from internal faculty stakeholders, accrediting agencies, and state authorization guidelines.
But the new program should invite conversation in the HBCU community about the institutions and programs best positioned to take advantage of Lyft’s scholarship offering, and in future research and development strategies with the military, Department of Transportation, and other startups which may invade the space of redefining American commuting and traveling.
Five HBCUs are uniquely positioned for this kind of development. In no particular order:
Spelman College – Spelman has special expertise in undergraduate robotics and computer science training, and as the nation’s premier institution for educating black women, is a natural incubator for public and private organizations looking to fund minority startups for ridesharing, mass transportation and its commercial possibilities.
Morgan State University – With nationally acclaimed programs in engineering and business and a national transportation center, Baltimore’s flagship HBCU is well-positioned to offer perspective on how to design and incorporate self-driving technology in metropolitan and suburban settings with traffic control and technology advancement.
North Carolina A&T State University – The historically black engineering capital of the world is proximate to one of the nation’s fastest growing automotive hubs, and is home to influential lawmakers on Capitol Hill who could champion legislative and appropriation pathways for the school. Plus, A&T has experience with self-driving car tech.
Greensboro, N.C. (April 10, 2017) — The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress Experience, General Motors Co. (GM) and SAE International announced North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University one of eight North American universities that will compete in the upcoming AutoDrive Challenge.
Tuskegee University – TU’s mechanical engineering program and growing imprint in material sciences makes it an ideal partner for companies like Lyft and automakers like Tesla for self-driving system development and making cars safer and better performing with research on parts and exterior design.
Alabama A&M University – With strong programs in mechanical, civil and electrical engineering, AAMU is a partner in making recommendations on how roads can be improved for the future of self-driving technology, as well as systems for navigation and detection.