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, Santa Barbara received a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation fro research into understanding the different ways that male and female heart muscle cells handle stress. The project is under the direction of Beth Pruitt, a professor of mechanical engineering at the university. Recent studies have revealed significant differences in male and female biology in animal models and tissues, including in disease progression and responses to stress in the heart, both in whole organs and at the cellular level. Dr. Pruitt said she hopes that this new work will reveal the extent to which these differences are intrinsic to the cell.

Mount Holyoke College, the liberal arts educational institution for women in South Hadley, Massachusetts, has received a six-year, $529,500 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support the development of a more inclusive STEM curriculum, with the goal of ensuring that all students feel they belong and can be successful in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Alverno College, the liberal arts educational institution for women in Milwaukee, has been awarded a five-year, $2,890,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of highly trained, bilingual, and racially and ethnically diverse school-based mental health professionals. “There is a need for school psychologists who represent the communities they serve, especially in Milwaukee,” said Jessica Willenbrink, an assistant professor in the educational specialist training program for school psychologists at Alverno and the project director. “Through this grant, we will be able to offer students scholarships, provide mentorship, and place them in a job in a high-needs school district.”

The University of South Florida received an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for programs to reduce unintended teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and incidents of trafficking for marginalized youth. Researchers are implementing a sexual health education program called Choosing Myself, which is designed for youth who are or have been in the juvenile justice system and from populations such as LGBTQ+ individuals. Along with reducing many negative aspects of sexual relationships, the project hopes to enhance knowledge of healthy relationships while increasing self-esteem.

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