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College Grants 2008

Summary

A complete listing of this year's college grant recipients with links to profiles of each institution.

Amherst College
Amherst, MA, $1.3 million

Neuroscience is a highly specialized area of biology, but it's also the perfect subject for a liberal arts education, says Amherst College's Stephen A. George.


Barnard College
New York, NY, $1.5 million

Many undergraduate biology experiments, while useful for demonstrating principles, are more cookbook than cutting edge. Using part of a $1.5 million HHMI science education grant, Barnard College will turn some of its biology lab courses into a setting for ground-breaking research on a pest that attacks tomatoes and potatoes.


Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME, $1.1 million

Independent undergraduate research often grinds to a halt when graduating seniors hand off their successful research projects to inexperienced peers, just when the seniors could begin making important discoveries.


Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA, $1.2 million

From kindergarten to senior year in high school, students are exposed to science, whether they are watching chicks hatch or doing research on acid rain. Yet many of their teachers have never been in a lab, and most don't have solid science backgrounds.


California State University - Fullerton
Fullerton, CA, $1.2 million

With 35,000 students, California State University-Fullerton the largest college in California and serves a highly diverse population: nearly one-third of its students were born outside the United States, and more than 50 percent come from families where neither parent graduated from college.


Calvin College
Grand Rapids, MI, $1.1 million

The old joke was that biologists were the bright kids in science who couldn't do the math. Today no research biologist is safe from the growing importance of quantification and mathematical modeling, as the boundaries grow thinner between the traditional scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and mathematics.


Carleton College
Northfield, MN, $1.5 million

The intricate dance that coordinates an embryo's development into a functional organism relies on the precise interplay of many moving parts. Multiple genes must turn on and off in disparate cells at specific and varied time frames.


CUNY Hunter College
New York, NY, $1.4 million

Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, is used to working without a roadmap. Its science programs, for example, do not follow the traditional trails to success blazed by other schools because Hunter doesn’t attract the traditional student.


Colby College
Waterville, ME, $1 million

For many freshmen, the "gateway" courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics are killers—killers of interest and of potential careers in science. The gateway shock phenomenon is a particular problem for first-generation college students and those from minority groups who are already underrepresented in science.


Colgate University
Hamilton, NY, $1.2 million

Systems biology, a field that lies at the nexus of biology and mathematics, employs interdisciplinary approaches to address complex problems. Students at Colgate University will have a chance to study this nascent discipline in a new mathematical biology major, funded with part of a $1.2 million HHMI grant.


College of Charleston
Charleston, SC, $1.5 million

First-year students, especially people from underrepresented groups or the first in their family to attend college, often feel disconnected from the rest of the college community. The College of Charleston hopes to fix that by creating a community to support and encourage them.


College of Wooster
Wooster, OH, $1 million

Faculty at the College of Wooster don't want to just attract students to science—they want to keep them engaged in science throughout their college years and beyond. One trick to doing that, asserts biology professor Bill Morgan, is to draw students from groups underrepresented in the sciences into independent research from the moment they set foot on campus.


Davidson College
Davidson, NC, $1.5 million

Halfway through its last four-year HHMI grant, Davidson's original Strategies for Success in Science program to increase diversity in the sciences was anything but a success, according to Verna Miller Case, chair of the biology department and program director of the new HHMI grant.


Drew University
Madison, NJ, $1.1 million

Several years ago, Drew University faced a dramatic decline in students majoring in science. The situation came as a shock, because as recently as 2001, the number of students majoring in the sciences at the university well exceeded the national average for highly selective, independent liberal arts institutions.


Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster, PA, $1.3 million

Since 1787, when Benjamin Franklin put up 200 English pounds to help found a college, Lancaster County in southeast Pennsylvania has been home to what is now Franklin & Marshall College.


Furman University
Greenville, SC, $1.2 million

This year is the "Year of Science" for Furman University, and the school has much to celebrate: it will open a new science center that brings together the physics, earth and environmental science, chemistry, and biology programs in a single building, creating links between the sciences more numerous and substantial than ever before.


Georgetown College
Georgetown, KY, $1.3 million

Georgetown College faculty know that incoming freshmen are often deterred by fear from taking science courses, but with $1.3 million in new funding from HHMI, the college is designing new programs to bolster student confidence and excitement in science.


Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA, $1.2 million

When Brook Swanson and his colleagues first met with the Spokane Tribe elders, they brought an agenda.


Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA, $1.2 million

At first glance, the titles might seem out of place on the roster of science courses: Food: To Cook, To Taste, To Appreciate. PhysicoBiology: Quantum Uncertainty and Uncertainty about Consciousness.


Gustavus Adolphus College
Saint Peter, MN, $1 million

Introductory chemistry and biology classes are typically taught in isolation. But the subjects are inextricably linked, and faculty at Gustavus Adolphus College plan to use modern imaging technology to allow students to see that interdependence for themselves.


Hampton University
Hampton, VA, $1.2 million

Edison Fowlks would like to recruit future Ph.D. students to Hampton University the same way basketball coaches recruit future NBA players. He dreams of going into urban high schools looking for academic talent, then convincing students and families that biomedical research can be as exciting as and provide more security than professional sports.


Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, CA, $1.5 million

At Harvey Mudd College the unicycle is a favorite form of transportation. So it is safe to say students at the college are comfortable taking unique and innovative paths.


Haverford College
Haverford, PA, $1.4 million

The Haverford College faculty have always prided themselves on their commitment to multidisciplinary education. Now, with a $1.4 million HHMI grant, they're aiming to strengthen that commitment by infusing a dose of computational science into the biology and chemistry curriculum.


Hope College
Holland, MI, $1.4 million

Many successful researchers say that one good teacher changed their lives. Using part of its $1.4 million grant from HHMI, Hope College is expanding a program aimed at educating teachers who will inspire future generations of scientists.


Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, MI, $1 million

Most colleges want to keep their high-performing science students on campus under their faculty's supportive wing. Kalamazoo College has a different plan.


Lewis and Clark College
Portland, OR, $1.3 million

To build a passion for a life in science, some colleges run summer programs during which undergraduates work on their own research projects. Some promote mentor pairings between science faculty and would-be science students.


Morehouse College
Atlanta, GA, $1.4 million

Great ideas and interesting collaborations need a place to be born. At Morehouse College, a state-of-the-art instrumentation facility will serve as the incubator for both collaborative research and curriculum overhaul.


Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA, $1.5 million

Physics tends to get a bad rap among college undergrads. Even though it covers spellbinding phenomena, like the birth of the universe and the inner worlds of atoms, too many students see physics as a painful ordeal endured on the way to earning a bachelor's degree, says Craig T. Woodard, a biology professor at Mount Holyoke College. "Many of our students prefer biology and take physics only because it's a pre-med requirement," he says.


North Carolina Central University
Durham, NC, $900,000

Although North Carolina Central University is located within the state's Research Triangle region — a prominent high-tech hub—fewer than five percent of its students currently major in science. That's a troubling statistic for the school's science faculty.


Oakwood College
Huntsville, AL, $1.2 million

Science majors at Oakwood University used to think of their undergraduate education as a path to medical or dental school. But with a new 1.2 million HHMI grant, the historically-black, Seventh-day Adventist university is pushing more students toward a career in research.


Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA, $1.4 million

Science education at Occidental College isn’t just about sitting in a classroom.. “We want our students to learn science by getting their feet wet doing it,” says HHMI-program director Christopher Craney, a professor of biochemistry.


Saint Joseph's University
Philadelphia, PA , $1 million

Each week, several undergraduate and graduate students from Saint Joseph's University step away from the rarified air of academia and return to elementary school. Rather than seeking solace in a simpler time, they are actively developing and teaching science courses at four elementary schools in Philadelphia that serve low-income students.


San Jose State University
San Jose, CA, $1.3 million

Silicon Valley surrounds the campus, but for students at San Jose State University, the educational road to a high-tech career can be full of detours and dead ends. A new initiative to improve undergraduate biomedical education with the college's first HHMI grant is aimed at making that journey a little more direct.

For More Information

Jim Keeley
[ 301-215-8858 ]
Cindy Fox Aisen
[ 317-843-2276 ]