University’s Research Included Among 37 National Projects to Receive First-Ever Awards Under the NSF INCLUDES Program
Morgan State University has been awarded a $140,598 research award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the study “Early STEM Engagement for Minority Males through a Network of Minority Serving Institutions.” This two-year project is led by Dr. J. Kemi Ladeji-Osias, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering at Morgan. It will expand work now underway by a regional partnership of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that are collaborating to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outcomes for middle school, minority, male students. In addition to Morgan’s efforts in Baltimore, the HBCU collaborators on this project include North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina; Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi; and Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. Additional partners include SRI International, the National CARES Mentoring Network and the Verizon Foundation.
This grant comes as part of a new STEM-focused initiative – NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) – that has awarded nearly $14 million for 37 projects nationwide. The highly competitive NSF INCLUDES program was introduced as a comprehensive initiative to enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering by broadening participation in STEM-related fields. It employs a social innovation approach to increase access to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for underrepresented women and minorities. The initial award recipients were carefully selected for their potential to deliver prototypes for bold, new models that seek to broaden participation in STEM.
“It is encouraging and an honor that Morgan was selected to be among the first to receive this award from the National Science Foundation, as it will provide the necessary assistance to continue the great work that is already being done at our University in this area,” said Dr. Craig Scott, interim dean of the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering. “I have the utmost confidence that the team, led by Dr. Kemi Ladeji-Osias, will perform cutting-edge research in the quest to fulfill our nation’s workforce needs for the next decade.”
Using collective impact-style approaches, Morgan’s project goals are twofold: (1) to broaden the participation of underrepresented minority males in science and engineering through educational experiences that prepare them for careers in STEM fields and (2) to create a Network Improvement Community focused on STEM achievement in minority males. Program elements include high-quality instruction in STEM content; mentoring and professional development. The project will expand to include eight additional partners (six HBCUs and two Hispanic-Serving Institutions) and schools and districts in communities local to their campuses. This builds on a two-year award (2015–2017), the Verizon Innovative Learning for Minority Males, directed by Morgan State University, which has funded a Middle Grades Makerspace in Morgan’s School of Engineering and has provided opportunities for middle school students in Baltimore City to develop mobile apps, build and print three-dimensional designs and pursue technology entrepreneurship.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified Doctoral Research Institution offering more than 70 academic programs leading to bachelor’s degrees as well as programs at the master’s and doctoral levels. As Maryland’s Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. More information about the university is available at www.morgan.edu.
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Clinton R. Coleman or Larry Jones