ODU receives millions in grant money to help minority students pursue STEM education


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – New grants are hoping to give minority undergraduates a fighting chance at Old Dominion University.

Two different million dollar grants will help students pursue STEM doctorate degrees and STEM careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences research.

Old Dominion University is now home to not one, but two new million dollar grants.

The MARC grant from the National Institutes of Health is bringing $1.5 million. 

Associate professors Desh Ranjan and Alvin Holder are working closely with the program it’s funding to help undergraduate students get higher degrees in biomedical research.   

“For two years in the junior and senior years these students will be aired with research mentors and will have hands-on experience doing research with them, and they will be expected to do meaningful research that will result in publication,” said Rajan. 

“When you have diversity, different races, different religion, you will be surprised, you’ll have better ideas and more important is you need to have people like us to become role models,” said Holder.

According to ODU, the proportion of minority students drops significantly from bachelors programs to graduate programs.

With this grant, students will also have access to a variety of national conferences.

The school also received a little more than one million dollars in grant money from the National Science Foundation.

“We will be able to provide them with not only support in the classroom but also outside the classroom.”

Lisa Mayes, the executive director of the center for High Impact Practices, said this will all go towards the partnership aimed at increasing minority workers in the STEM field, something she believes students will benefit from tenfold.  

“We will be able to provide them with not only support in the classroom but also outside the classroom,” said Mayes.

“I want them to look back and say wow I had that opportunity and now I can help others,” said Mayes.

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