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$20 million awarded to South Carolina HBCUs to invest in next generation STEM leaders

US Department of Energy funds promote science, technology, engineering and math students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to create diverse workforce
Credit: WLTX

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The US Department of Energy announced Monday the agency is awarding $30 million in financial assistance grants to Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. The grants are to be used to develop science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students and help foster an increase in the participation, leadership, and success of students from underrepresented and historically marginalized communities with a goal of creating a culturally diverse workforce of scientists, engineers, and managers.

The Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP) was established in 2014 to promote the education and development of the next generation workforce in critical STEM related disciplines that support EM's mission. MSIPP grants assist MSIs, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities, efforts to build competitive academic STEM programs and to purchase the tools and equipment necessary for scientific learning. 

“Leveraging the full potential of America’s best and brightest means including students from every pocket of the nation, and of all races and ethnicities,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With today’s investments, DOE is following through with our previously announced commitments to MSIs to remove barriers and unlock opportunities for millions of Americans — inspiring the next generation of science and technology leaders and positioning America to lead the world in the industries of the future, from artificial intelligence and clean energy to quantum computing and advanced engineering.”

The grants are distributed by the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) and the current grants awarded were determined based on the proximity to existing EM sites (the Hanford Site in Washington, the Oak Ridge Site in Tennessee, and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina).

In South Carolina, $20 million was awarded to Claflin University, in partnership with the state’s seven other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), including Allen University, Benedict College, Clinton College, Denmark Technical College, Morris College, South Carolina State University, and Voorhees University.

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