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.

Alverno College, a liberal arts educational institution for women in Milwaukee, has been awarded a five-year, $2,890,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for programs 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. “There are significant financial and scheduling barriers to complete a school psychology program, especially for underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. 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. We hope that this, in combination with our flexible hybrid program that offers all courses on the weekend, breaks barriers that individuals from underrepresented groups face.” Dr. Willenbrink joined the Alverno College faculty in 2021. She is a graduate of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, where she majored in elementary education. Dr. Willenbrink holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Economic Growth Center at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, received a $1.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a major new research project to critically examine gender gaps and their complex links to economic growth. The two-year project will bring together a diverse group of prominent Yale economists working to enhance the understanding of gender inequality in today’s rapidly-evolving global economy – while having a tangible impact on policymaking in low- and middle-income countries.

Texas Woman’s University received a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support mental health programs in K-12 schools. Lisa Grubbs and Bonnie King, faculty members in the College of Professional Education, will use the grant to fund training and field experience in school-based mental health services for university students. In turn, the students would apply their training to serve K-12 students at charter schools. Training for TWU students in the School Counseling and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs will focus on culturally sustaining and trauma-informed practices to help K-12 students improve social-emotional skills, overall academic performance, and attendance, and lead to a decrease in disciplinary actions.

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