Spelman College is establishing the Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM after receiving a $2 million grant from the Department of Defense.
According to HBCUbuzz, the new center will be affiliated with the Office of Research, Innovation and Collaboration and is a first of its kind. It will also reportedly serve as a hub for all STEM undergraduate research and training activities for Spelman.
“The Center aligns with the College’s strategic priorities and ensures that our students are empowered and equipped to enter competitive STEM fields,” Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said, according to HBCUbuzz. “We are honored to be awarded this grant, and to have the support of the Department of Defense in assisting Spelman in fulfilling its mission to diversify STEM.”
Over the past three academic years, the percentage of students pursuing STEM majors at Spelman has grown significantly. In 2017, 26 percent of Spelman students received degrees in STEM compared to 16 percent at other HBCUs and 17 percent at other liberal arts colleges.
The Center of Excellence for Minority Women will reportedly offer three main access points for students and faculty, including research support, academic enrichment and professional development through mentorship opportunities.
“Our overall goal is to increase the skills of our students and resources for our faculty,” says Dr. Tasha Inniss, an associate provost for research.