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Atlanta, GA, United States

Morehouse College is a private, all-male, liberal arts, historically black college located in Atlanta, in the U.S. state of Georgia. Along with Hampden–Sydney College and Wabash College, Morehouse is one of three remaining traditional men's liberal arts colleges in the United States.The mission of Morehouse College is to develop men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service. A private historically black liberal arts college for men, Morehouse realizes this mission by emphasizing the intellectual and character development of its students. In addition, the College assumes special responsibility for teaching the history and culture of black people.Morehouse has a 61-acre campus and an enrollment of approximately 2,100 students. The student-faculty ratio is 16:1 and 100% of the school's tenure-track faculty hold tertiary degrees. Along with Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse School of Medicine and nearby women's college Spelman College, Morehouse is part of the Atlanta University Center. In 1881, both Morehouse and Spelman students were studying in the basement of Atlanta's Friendship Baptist Church. Morehouse is one of two black colleges in the country to produce Rhodes Scholars, and it is the alma mater of many African-American leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. Wikipedia.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 349.95K | Year: 2015

Morehouse College will conduct a research project to uncover new insights regarding the effect of culturally relevant career exploration resources on high school students career interests. The researchers propose a mixed-methods research design using quantitative and qualitative data to examine the effects of using embodied conversational agents (ECAs) in virtual career exploration fairs with rural and urban high school students. Building on previous research that shows that ECAs are as effective as humans when used to mentor undergraduate students interested in pursuing graduate school, the researchers will explore whether the research extends to high school students considering computing careers.

Guided by the possible selves and social cognitive career theory (SCCT) frameworks, researchers will examine students perceptions of computing and computing careers before and after each career exploration fair, noting the effect and impact of questions and answers (Q&A), storytelling, and culturally relevant storytelling. The ECAs will represent minority individuals in authentic computing professions. The specific research questions are: 1) In what ways do students career interests and perceptions change following virtual career exploration fairs using ECAs? 2) How do culturally relevant ECAs differ based on student perceptions and identities? and 3) What roles do gender, race, ethnicity, grade level, and location (rural/urban) play in students career identities? Survey data will be analyzed to determine the relative impact of the virtual career exploration fair on student self-efficacy, interest in computer science careers, and predictive factors of the SCCT?

The project presents a potentially sustainable solution for motivating urban and rural high-need school districts to explore computing careers. Data collected on student attitudes, interests, and self-efficacy will help guide improvements to the ECAs and ensure they are broadly applicable for future uses.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ROBERT NOYCE SCHOLARSHIP PGM | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2012

Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA is providing scholarships to 27 African American and other underrepresented minority male students majoring in STEM fields and obtaining Georgia Teacher Certification. These students are committed to teaching at Georgia critical-needs high schools. This DREAMS II program emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches for learning science and mathematics. Moreover, the program integrates inquiry-based learning, technology, and problem solving, which are concepts and skills stressed by the states national recommendations for teaching. Innovative teaching methodologies include online learning communities, scholar-supervised research activities, interdisciplinary applications and one-on-one mentoring activities across the curriculum. These activities strengthen future teachers ability to integrate interdisciplinary ideas and strategies across the curricula. This program has the potential to transform the national educational agenda by providing empirical data on best approaches to recruit and maintain male STEM students from underrepresented groups for careers as pre-college teachers. In addition, the project provides data on best practices to encourage and retain underrepresented STEM majors using diverse strategies that include targeted recruitment, enhanced mentoring, research training, and community building.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 200.10K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) provides support to undertake an institutional self-analysis in preparation for a Broadening Participation Research Center. Broadening Participation Research Centers are expected to serve as a national hub for the rigorous study and broad dissemination of the critical pedagogies and culturally sensitive interventions that contribute to the success of HBCUs in educating African American STEM undergraduates. The project at Morehouse College seeks to plan the essential research questions, experimental designs and programmatic activities for creating a large-scale STEM broadening participation research innovation center designed to research how HBCUs can best understand and activate the particular brand of genius within a given student.

The goal of the project is to employ this asset-based approach in partnership with HBCUs, industry, and nonprofit organizations to plan a research center that will in part utilize STEM innovation as a tool for student empowerment. Activities of the project include: networking with other HBCUs and forming partnerships with Morehouse College; soliciting involvement from innovation centers, industry and non-profit organizations; developing well defined research questions and experiments; planning a dissemination program to include a comprehensive web portal, workshops, faculty sabbaticals, summer internships for students and faculty, conferences and possibly a journal. The project will be guided by an external advisory committee.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CENTERS FOR RSCH EXCELL IN S&T | Award Amount: 206.90K | Year: 2016

Morehouse and Spelman Colleges will plan and design a collaborative center in Socially Relevant Computing. The center will provide interdisciplinary education, research, and workforce development for African American undergraduate computer science students, particularly those who are at risk for degree completion. In addition, the center will create an ecosystem of partners to conduct research that leads to innovations to address critical societal problems of national priority and demonstrated interventions to increase the representation of African Americans in graduate school and the STEM workforce.

The principal investigators will implement the proposed project in multiple stages that include an internal assessment of capability and infrastructure requirements, an external assessment of relevant existing computer science centers for benchmarking, curriculum enhancements, and a pilot education research project to test an evidence-based socially relevant computing intervention concept. The project will help articulate strategies for developing degree pathways to increase persistence in computing for African Americans.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: WORKFORCE IN THE MATHEMAT SCI | Award Amount: 362.66K | Year: 2014

This award supports continuation of the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) program. The proportion of women, especially underrepresented minority women, in the mathematical sciences declines at each successive academic level. In response to this problem, the EDGE Program is designed (1) to increase the number of women PhDs in the mathematical sciences, especially those from underrepresented groups; and (2) to place more women in visible leadership roles in the mathematics community. The EDGE Program seeks to achieve these goals by providing a comprehensive mentoring program that supports the academic development and research activities of women in mathematics. The proposed activities target women in four different groups: new PhD students, advanced PhD students, postdocs, and junior faculty. Along with an annual summer session, EDGE supports an annual conference, travel for research collaborations, travel to present research, and other open-ended mentoring activities for each targeted participant group.

This project aims to impact the mathematics community by increasing the number of women, particularly from minority groups, who succeed in graduate programs in the mathematical sciences; who assume leadership roles in academia, industry, and government; and who ultimately diversify the mathematical community and provide a sustainable increase in the pool of available home-grown talent. Increased diversity in the mathematics community will ultimately strengthen U.S. competitiveness in mathematics and science and allow people from all backgrounds and cultures to thrive, advance, and contribute to the profession. Reducing the gender and racial disparities among faculty in the mathematical sciences will facilitate national efforts to increase the diversity of students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in mathematics.

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