Central State University Newsroom
Central State University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond has secured $2M in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service to support the development of a well-qualified and diverse College of Science and Engineering student applicant pool.
The funding spans four years and will provide academic scholarships and expanded experiences to eligible students majoring in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics. (STEAM).
The intent is to develop a highly qualified agriculture/engineering applicant pool to provide NRCS and USDA a future workforce of underrepresented talent through the integration of disciplines that apply engineering science and technology to agricultural production, conservation, and processing.
The funding supports three major projects: 1) scholarships for eligible undergraduate students engaged in agriculture/engineering science disciplines; 2) pre-college outreach pipeline programs to support the goal of producing students with integrated knowledge and experiences; and 3) participation of students, faculty and staff at conferences and experiential learning events that support agricultural sustainability, natural resources conservation and agricultural production. In addition to academic support, students will be able to engage in USDA/NRCS federal internships and contribute to the replenishment of the workforce in those agencies.
The funding will also support a more robust recruitment of middle and high school students to the University’s Seed to Bloom program to provide innovative teaching and learning activities that lead to increase interest in STEAM disciplines. Additionally, a summer residential program specifically for high school pre-college students is being designed to encourage and engender interest in Agricultural innovations.
Faculty and staff from across various disciplines are engaging in program development and the Office of Sponsored Program serves as the monitoring office for the grant.