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Science, tech focus helped ECSU earn $4M in grants

Annemarie Delgado, ECSU grants director

Annemarie Delgado, director of sponsored programs, contracts and grants for Elizabeth City State University.

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Saturday, July 21, 2018

A new effort to grow the ranks of science and technology majors helped Elizabeth City State University bring in just over $4 million in grants last academic year.

ECSU announced its total grant awards in a press release Thursday, celebrating the university winning the most grant dollars it's seen since 2012. The grants represent $4.06 million in investment in various initiatives that will advance research projects, support students, and raise the university’s national profile, said Annemarie Delgado, ECSU director of Sponsored Programs, Contracts, and Grants, in an interview Friday.

Delgado explained her office helps faculty find and apply for grants in their fields. She also provided a recap of the largest of the 22 total grants ECSU received in 2017-18.

Half of the $4 million total is thanks to the VESTEM initiative of Gloria Payne and Harry Bass, Delgado explained. The professors won a multi-year grant from the National Science Foundation worth $2 million total to develop a STEM Innovation Lab intended to boost recruitment and graduation rates of STEM majors at ECSU. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Delgado provided an abstract of the initiative, which explains it will see to initiatives to strengthen college preparation, better inform prospective students' parents about STEM programs, and offer the innovation lab as a “hub in the northeastern region of that state for the development of creative approaches to learning difficult STEM concepts.”

Other major grants ECSU won last academic year include:

* $416,666 from the U.S. Department of Education to the Sharon Raynor for the HBCU Graduate Program, to promote ECSU graduate studies, improve master’s degree programs in math and biology, and provide scholarships to students seeking master’s degrees.

* $334,427 from the U.S. Department of Education to Quay Dozier for Upward Bound, a program to boost academic performance for high school students, and encourage and prepare them for higher education. The abstract notes it will be offered to 73 participants in Chowan, Gates, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties.

* $325,325 from the University of California-San Diego and National Science Foundation to Linda Hayden for The Science Gateways Community Institute. An abstract explains the institute will allow ECSU and other institutions to tap into and collaborate on cyber-infrastructure and data-sharing.

* $311,430 from the US Army Research Office to Adetayo Adedeji, for acquiring instruments to use in instruction and research on semiconductive vanadium dioxide thin films; the abstract notes vanadium dioxide is “a very attractive material for numerous applications.”

Going forward, Delgado said ECSU is looking into grant opportunities involving emergency management, nanotechnology, minority health disparities, and unmanned aircraft systems.

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