Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) will receive a $1 million grant from the United States Department of Homeland Security, university officials announced. It is the largest government-funded academic grant the school has ever received and will support the HBCU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The grant will be used to help JCSU build future professionals in the STEM industry with a “comprehensive education in dealing with natural disasters.”
The grant will be dispersed over five years and will have several components, including undergraduate research mentorship, an undergraduate summer research experience, one-week bootcamps, a “STEM day” for student networking, reconstructing a cybersecurity curriculum, and student scholarships.
It will also fund a new research lab with 25 new computers as well as faculty training.
Partrick Martin, dean of the College of STEM said the award “brings a wealth of benefits” current students and will help attract “motivated and talented” future students to the school.
“The additions to the curriculum and experience this award provides JCSU students will ensure our students are well prepared and competitive for sought-after careers in cyber security and national disaster management. I commend Drs. Chakraborty and Amin for having the vision to develop this collaborative proposal and envision this program and its outcomes will serve as a model for other training programs across the nation,” Martin said.
According to a press release shared Tuesday, two JCSU professors, Suryadip Chakraborty and Awatif Amin, applied for the grant and will serve as co-principal investigators of “Building a Next-Generation STEM Workforce to Engage, Prepare and Develop Skills in Studying a Comprehensive Education in Natural Disasters at Minority Serving Institutions” — the grant’s name.
Chakraborty, who immigrated the U.S. to further his education said “the world looks to American scientists and researchers for the next generation of solutions,” noting that future leadership depends on how students are being prepared now.
“If we invest in those students today, it is an investment for the future of the nation and world,” Chakraborty said.
For more information on the College of STEM at Johnson C. Smith University, visit JCSU online.