Grants or Gifts Relating to Women in Higher Education

Here is this week’s news of grants and gifts that may be of particular interest to women in higher education.

The University of California, San Diego received a four-year, $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a national study to evaluate the safety of COVID-19 vaccinations during pregnancy and monitor the immune response of mother and baby following vaccinations. Researchers will study 900 individuals who received one or more doses of any COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and 900 who did not. They will evaluate pregnancy outcomes, including major birth defects, miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and postpartum growth of infants through one year of age. The research is under the direction of Christina Chambers, a professor of pediatrics at the university’s medical school. Dr. Chambers is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, where she majored in anthropology. She holds a master of public health degree from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California, San Diego.

Spelman College, the selective liberal arts educational institution for women in Atlanta, received a $1 million gift from The Shubert Foundation to support an endowed scholarship for students majoring in theater and performing arts. The scholarship will allow future theater professionals to graduate with less debt, ready to step into their creative careers.

The University of Louisville received a $125,000 grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund to expand a program for high school girls aimed at preventing eating disorders and promoting a healthy body culture. The grant will allow the university to serve more diverse student populations. The funding will be used for training, materials, staffing, and outreach for the Body Project to expand across Louisville, especially into the West End, a traditionally lower-income area with a high population of underrepresented minorities. “Despite stereotypes that eating disorders affect only affluent, young, White women, they “impact everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation,” said Cheri Levinson, an associate professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences and the founder of the Eating Anxiety Treatment (EAT) Lab and Clinic at the university. Dr. Anderson is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where she majored in psychology and history. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in clinical science from Washington Univerity in St. Louis.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte received a $1,062,034 grant from the National Science Foundation for research on gifted Black girls with science, technology, engineering, and math talent in elementary schools across the country. The project is called “CAREER: Critical and Culturally Relevant Experiential Learning: Fostering Early STEM Exploration with Gifted and High-Ability Black Girls and their Elementary Teachers.” Black girls are historically under-identified for gifted services. The identification and referral process for gifted programming and services varies, but it is often biased and subjective. The grant will also target the professional development of teachers and administrators. It aims to address the cultural misunderstanding between teachers and gifted Black girls. The research is under the direction of Brittany Anderson, an assistant professor in the College of Education at the university. Dr. Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Texas and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Georgia.

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