Atlanta, GA, United States

Morehouse College
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.

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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: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: DISCOVERY RESEARCH K-12 | Award Amount: 3.57M | Year: 2011

Morehouse College proposes a research and development project to recruit high school African American males to begin preparation for secondary school science, technology, engineering and mathematics(STEM) teaching as a career. The major goal of the program is to recruit and prepare students for careers in secondary mathematics and science teaching thus increasing the number of African Americans students in STEM. The research will explore possible reasons why the program is or is not successful for recruiting and retaining students in STEM Teacher Education programs including: (a) How do students who remain in STEM education differ from those who leave and how do these individual factors (e.g. student preparation, self efficacies, course work outcomes, attitudes toward STEM/STEM education, connectivity to STEM/STEM education communities, learning styles, etc) enhance or inhibit interest in STEM teaching among African American males? (b) What organizational and programmatic factors (e.g. high school summer program, Saturday Academy, pre-freshman program, summer research experience, courses, enhanced mentoring, cyber-infrastructure, college admissions guidance, leadership training, instructional laboratory, program management, faculty/staff engagement and availability, Atlanta Public Schools and Morehouse College articulation and partnership) affect (enhance or inhibit) interest in STEM teaching among African American males?

Two cohorts of 40 students will spend six weeks in an intensive summer program with a follow-up Saturday Academy during their senior year before formally beginning their academic careers at Morehouse College. The program will integrate STEM education with teacher preparation and mentoring in order to develop secondary teachers who have mastery in both a STEM discipline as well as educational theory.

This pre-service program for future teachers will recruit 80 promising eleventh grade African American male students from the Atlanta Public School District to participate in a four-year program that will track them into the Teacher Preparation program at Morehouse College. The research will focus on the utility and efficacy of early recruitment of African American male students to STEM teaching careers as a mechanism to increase the number of African American males in STEM teaching careers.

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: 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.

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: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ITEST | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2015

This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by engaging in hands-on field experience, laboratory/project-based entrepreneurship tasks and mentorship experiences.

The Innovative Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Strategies Project of Morehouse College is designed to provide underrepresented minority students with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) challenging technological learning experiences that will increase the students exposure to innovation and creativity in the STEM disciplines. The project will explore the influence of these challenging opportunities on students interest by 1) Increasing student awareness and knowledge of educational opportunities and careers in STEM disciplines; 2) Increasing student knowledge, skills and practices in STEM application; and 3) Increasing participation of underrepresented populations in STEM careers. This project will address these potential educational needs for minority students at a critical stage of their educational development by having students begin the program in grades 7-9 and supporting their development for a three (3) year period. The students will be engaged in a long-term (3 year) STEM technology program that will include a 4-week summer program, hands-on field experience, laboratory/project-based entrepreneurship tasks and mentorship, and parental involvement.

A mixed-methods approach to project evaluation will be applied using both quantitative and qualitative measures design for a panel of formative and summative assessment instruments including project implementation, content knowledge, process knowledge, and attitudes. Whenever feasible, baseline date will be included. A database will be developed for milestones including dissemination efforts. Evaluation of the program will include both descriptive statistics and outcome analysis. The research questions are: (1) What sets of experiences effectively and efficiently support student competency, motivation, and persistence for productive participation in the STEM and STEM cognate workforce in the future? (2) What roles might industry workforce members play in motivating students to become aware of, interested in, and prepared for careers in STEM and STEM cognate workforce? (3) What strategies might parents, caregivers, and mentors adopt in the modern digital and computer age that develop student understanding of and appreciation for the scientific, technical, mathematical, and engineering basis of technological developments? and (4) Given the shifting demographics reflected in our current classrooms and in our country, what are effective and productive ways to ensure broadening participation by engaging diverse underrepresented populations in STEM programs and careers?

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 199.57K | Year: 2012

The Research Initiation Award entitled - Investigating the combinatorial structure of special classes of matrices and graphs - has the goal to find a test that will determine the eventual nonnegativity of reducible matrices and determine eventual properties of other classes of matrices. In dynamical systems, one is frequently interested in qualitative information regarding state evolution. Due to physical and modeling constraints arising in applications, it is of interest to impose or consider conditions for nonnegativity of the states. Such applications are directly linked to the problem of understanding the behavior of A^k as k increases. The objectives in this project will transform how we answer open questions about the nonnegativity and reducibility of large powers of matrices.

An eventual property of a matrix M is a property that holds for all powers M^k, k >= k0, for some positive integer k0, the power index. Eventually positive matrices and eventually nonnegative matrices have applications to control theory and have been studied since their introduction in 1978. For a fixed n, the power index of an eventually positive or eventually nonnegative n x n matrix may be arbitrarily large, so it is not possible to show a matrix is not eventually positive or not eventually nonnegative by computing powers. Perron-Frobenius theory shows several ways to test for eventual positivity and in 2010 Hogben found a test for eventual nonnegativity for matrices that are not eventually reducible. The objective of this research is to investigate the remaining class of eventually nonnegative matrices that are not well understood.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 123.64K | Year: 2015

In the last decades the impressive development of photonic technology made possible new revolutionary devices with unthinkable capabilities. Now it is possible to conceive high-resolution sensors capable of single molecule detection, or powerful microscopes capable to surpass the previously accepted resolution limits, or even a clear path towards the realization of a fully photonic computer that will use light instead of electrons. All these accomplishments have a common denominator: all make use of the unique properties of meta-materials. Meta-materials are nano-scale structures fabricated in metals, semiconductors or in a mixture of them that combined with laser pulses had opened a whole new research area that enabled new innovative applications. Instrumental to the implementation and broad dissemination of these new devices is the rapid access to a reliable nano-fabrication technology.
This project proposes the development of a new fabrication approach for nanoscale structures that due to its simplicity, lower cost, robustness and efficiency can make a significant contribution in facilitating the broad utilization of meta-materials. It promises the realization of a tabletop patterning tool that could easily be integrated with other processing tools in a small business or a laboratory environment, and will have the potential to simplify the operation of small companies dedicated to high tech and nanotechnology with the consequent benefit to society. It will also impact the education through the training of students in an innovative technology that combines optical engineering and metrology, laser design and material science.

This research project will demonstrate a compact (tabletop) nano-fabrication tool capable of printing defect-free arbitrary structures with sub-50nm feature size, over large areas (millimeter square), with short exposure times (typically less than one minute). The approach will use interferometric lithography and Talbot self-imaging in combination with a highly coherent tabletop extreme ultraviolet laser to optically replicate nanostructures defined in a mask over multiple samples. The novelty of the method resides on the utilization of highly coherent extreme ultraviolet table-top lasers that combined with classical optical effects will make possible a nano-fabrication method with the following distinctive characteristics:
- Defect free. This is a unique characteristic. Any defect on the original lithographic mask is averaged over the entire imaging field and the resulting print is essentially defect-free.
- Compact (tabletop) system that can bring nano-patterning capabilities to small size companies or university research laboratories.
- Scalable. With the adequate illumination, it is possible to print de-magnified replicas of the original master.
- Robust. Because the mask is not in contact with the sample, it is not damaged nor degraded with usage.
- Simple to implement. The working distance between the mask and the sample is very large, typically few millimeters, which facilitates the experimental set up.
- Trivial alignment. The set up consists of only the diffractive mask and the sample.

The mature technology of compact extreme ultraviolet lasers now opens a window of opportunity to demonstrate a nano-fabrication method that was not feasible before due to the lack of sufficiently large average power coherent sources. With the proposed lithography approach, it will be feasible to print, in a few minutes, patterns with arbitrary motives and sub-50nm critical size. Since the patterns smallest feature is mainly controlled by the wavelength of the illumination (the lasers wavelengths range from 47nm to 13 nm) it is conceivable that this method will allow the fabrication of nanostructures with feature size in the few tens of nanometers.

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: S-STEM:SCHLR SCI TECH ENG&MATH | Award Amount: 250.00K | Year: 2015

An Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) implementation and research project will be conducted at Morehouse College with the goal of utilizing a highly innovative utilitarian scientific literacy curriculum to increase retention of freshman STEM majors. Special emphasis will be placed on second semester freshman STEM majors who are at-risk of changing to a non-STEM major. This will be accomplished by: 1) presenting scientific literacy workshop/seminars to all freshman STEM majors at Morehouse College in their Living Learning Center - Orientation and Training program; 2) identifying second semester freshman STEM majors who may be considering changing to a non-STEM major using written assessments and focus groups; 3) enrolling these at-risk second semester freshmen in a cohort and exposing them to advanced scientific literacy best practices that are designed to retain them in the STEM major.

The educational research agenda of this project is to determine the efficacy of the programmatic activities in retention of STEM majors as a means of contributing to the knowledge base concerning best practices for freshman intervention and retention in STEM. Increasing student retention in STEM ultimately increases Americas scientific workforce and global economic competitiveness.

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