Hampton Receives NSF Grant to Increase Minorities in Science, Engineering

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Hampton University received a $3.6-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support an institutional project that will recruit and support women and African-American students pursuing research careers in the fields of materials science and engineering.

NSF’s grant will fund the Hampton-Brandeis Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) project over six years, beginning this September.

Dr. William R. Harvey

Through the project, students who have undergraduate research experience and who are enrolled in Hampton’s School of Engineering and Technology or the School of Science will develop optical materials for applications in integrated photonics and biomedical devices. They also will have access to scholarship opportunities and summer research experiences at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.

“Here at Hampton University, we want to make sure our students receive numerous resources for the expansion of their academic and professional careers,” said Hampton University president Dr. William R. Harvey. “This grant will provide students with the opportunity to pursue research careers in scientific and engineering fields, and we are very excited for the future success of these promising students.”

Dr. Demetrius L. Geddis, assistant dean of Hampton’s School of Engineering and Technology, said Hampton-Brandeis PREM will contribute to the university’s goals of strengthening and diversifying academic programs and curricula. A new Material Science and Engineering minor will consist of courses in chemistry, engineering and physics, Geddis said.

In addition to increasing the number of undergraduate and graduate students participating in materials science and engineering research activities, other project objectives for Hampton-Brandeis PREM include:

  • Implementing the PREM Path-to-Professorship (PtP) Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program to prepare a new cohort of early career faculty for HBCUs.
  • Developing a sustainable outreach program in materials science and engineering for middle and high school students in the Hampton Roads region.
  • Increasing communication of materials science and engineering to audiences across the continuum from peers to general audiences by all Hampton University PREM participants.

Tiffany Pennamon can be reached at tpennamon@diverseeducation.com. You can follow her on Twitter @tiffanypennamon.

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