University of Iowa Wins $1.8 Million For Minority Doctorates
IOWA CITY, Iowa
The University of Iowa won more than $1.8 million in grants to increase the number of Black, Hispanic and American Indian doctoral candidates in engineering, math and chemistry, school officials announced this month.
The Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) grants come from the U.S. Department of Education.
Combined with about $800,000 in matching funds from the UI Graduate College, they will fund 26 fellowships for graduate students from underrepresented groups.
For example, although about 1,100 doctorates in math are earned at U.S. colleges and universities each year, Black, American Indian or Hispanic students earn only about 25.
At Iowa, underrepresented minorities account for about 20 percent of the math department’s graduate students. Math professor Dr. David Manderscheid said the department leads a partnership with four historically Black institutions to help boost the number of doctoral candidates. The HBCUs include Jackson State University, Florida A&M University, Benedict College and Alabama A&M University.
Dr. Victor G. J. Rodgers, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, says that the College of Engineering has graduated only four minority doctoral recipients since 1999 but currently has four minority students in its doctoral program and has a significant number of admissions for next year. He notes that the college’s current efforts are bolstered by its existing memberships in the NSF-sponsored Iowa Regents Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) and the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees in Engineering and the Sciences (GEM).
Officials in the chemistry department hope to continue the success they have had in the past few years with attracting minority students.
“We have more than tripled the number in our Ph.D. program with a previous GAANN grant, and we plan to continue increasing this number,” says Dr. Darrell P. Eyman, professor of chemistry.
— Associated Press and news release
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