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Atlanta, GA, United States

Spelman College is a four-year liberal arts women's college located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The college is part of the Atlanta University Center academic consortium in Atlanta. Founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, Spelman was the fourth historically black female institution of higher education to receive its collegiate charter in 1924. It thus holds the distinction of being one of America's oldest historically black colleges for women.Spelman is ranked among the nation's top liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report. The college is ranked among the top 50 four-year colleges and universities for producing Fulbright Scholars, and was ranked the second largest producer of African-American college graduates who attend medical school. Forbes ranks Spelman among the nation's top ten best women's colleges. Moreover, Spelman has been ranked the #1 regional college in the South by U.S. News & World Report and is ranked among the Best 373 Colleges and Universities in America by the Princeton Review.Spelman is often reckoned as the Radcliffe, Wellesley or Smith of the African-American world. It has a longstanding relationship with all-male Morehouse College. In 1881, both Morehouse and Spelman students were studying in the basement of Atlanta's Friendship Baptist Church.Spelman is the alma mater of thousands of notable Americans including the CEO of Sam's Club and former Executive Vice President of Walmart Rosalind Brewer, Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker; Dean of Harvard College Evelynn M. Hammonds, activist and Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, musician, activist & historian Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon , writer Pearl Cleage, TV personality Rolanda Watts, Opera star Mattiwilda Dobbs, actors LaTanya Richardson, Adrienne-Joi Johnson, Keshia Knight Pulliam and many other luminaries in the arts, education, science, business, and the armed forces.In 2013, Spelman College decided to drop varsity athletics and leave the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Using money originally budgeted to the sports programs, they created wellness programs available for all students. Wikipedia.

Tekle Y.I.,Spelman College
Protist | Year: 2014

The diversity of microbial eukaryotes in general and amoeboid lineages in particular is poorly documented. Even though amoeboid lineages are among the most abundant microbes, taxonomic progress in the group has been hindered by the limitations of traditional taxonomy and technical difficultly in studying them. Studies using molecular approaches such as DNA barcoding with cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene are slowly trickling in for Amoebozoa, and they hopefully will aid in unveiling the true diversity of the group. In this study a retrospective approach is used to test the utility of COI gene in a scale-bearing amoeba, Cochliopodium, which is morphologically well defined. A total of 126 COI sequences and 62 unique haplotypes were generated from 9 Cochliopodium species. Extensive analyses exploring effects of sequence evolution models and length of sequence on genetic diversity computations were conducted. The findings show that COI is a promising marker for Cochliopodium, except in one case where it failed to delineate two morphologically well-defined cochliopodiums. Two species delimitation approaches also recognize 8 genetic lineages out of 9 species examined. The taxonomic implications of these findings and factors that may confound COI as a barcode marker in Cochliopodium and other amoebae are discussed. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CENTERS FOR RSCH EXCELL IN S&T | Award Amount: 92.35K | 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: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 1.75M | Year: 2014

Implementation Projects in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate Program provide support to design, implement, study and assess comprehensive institutional efforts to increase the number of students and the quality of their preparation by strengthening STEM education and research. This implementation project at Spelman College seeks to increase the number of African American women who pursue STEM-related advanced degrees and fields, particularly in PhD programs, while at the same time addressing the quality of the educational experience. Preliminary data from other work at Spelman College reveal an increase in the number of students identifying interest in earning advanced STEM degrees following course-based research experiences and summer research experiences. The project is guided and informed by an on-going evaluation.

New insights on integrating teaching and research in undergraduate STEM education could work to foster success for student retention and faculty productivity, especially at small liberal arts and minority-serving institutions. This project is designed to provide relatively novel undergraduate development activities that will enhance the undergraduate student research experience by expanding the ways Spelman College STEM undergraduate students gain research experiences through directed-supplemental instruction, investigative laboratories, course-based and summer research experiences. One key factor in implementing this program is a small cohort of postdoctoral fellows gaining both extensive research experiences and teaching experiences in pedagogy, course design and student mentoring. This project will use undergraduate research experiences as a means to address the transition from undergraduate to graduate STEM programs, ultimately leading to advanced degrees. It is proposed that through curricular research opportunities, faculty at minority serving institutions or small liberal arts colleges seeking to achieve excellence in teaching and research could improve the efficiency of their effort by conducting a single activity with multiple beneficial outcomes.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 200.00K | Year: 2014

Research Initiation Awards provide support for junior and mid-career faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are building new research programs or redirecting and rebuilding existing research programs. It is expected that the award helps to further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, improves research and teaching at his home institution, and involves undergraduate students in research experiences. The award to Spelman College has potential broader impact in a number of areas. Members of the supergroup Amoebozoa, which are to be studied in this project, are among the most abundant microorganisms globally. They play a major role in maintaining ecosystems and cause significant health problems for humans. Yet, their diversity and taxonomy are poorly known, which hinders applications in ecological and medical studies.
This project will also enhance the research experience and training of undergraduate students a Spelman College.

Most microbial amoeboid lineages fall within two major eukaryotic clades: Amoebozoa and Rhizaria. This project focuses on the relationships among the lineages of Amoebozoa, which are poorly resolved. This is mainly due to paucity and plasticity of morphological characters and limited sampling of genetic data. The project seeks to understand the evolution of one of the subgroups of Amoebozoa, Discosea, using large genetic data and refined analyses of pseudopodia architecture employing a novel method. Discosea encompasses flattened naked amoebas with the most diverse morphotypes. The Discosea is loosely defined by morphological data and has never been recovered in any molecular phylogenetic studies. Both increased genetic data and proteome level pseudopodial characters will allow reconstruction of a robust phylogeny and thorough morphological homology assessment within the group. Specific objectives of this project are to generate transcriptomes from eight core representatives of Discosea; obtain novel morphological data on cytoskeletal structures using immunocytochemistry and confocal fluorescence microscopy; and test specific phylogenetic hypotheses within the Discosea using large genetic data and morphological characters. Beyond the Discosea phylogeny, the generated genetic data and novel morphological characters will help to give cellular biological insights into specialized cells such as cancer, immune and embryonic cells.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HIST BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIV | Award Amount: 199.57K | Year: 2015

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Research Initiation Awards (RIAs) provide support to STEM junior faculty at HBCUs who are starting to build a research program, as well as for mid-career faculty who may have returned to the faculty ranks after holding an administrative post or who needs to redirect and rebuild a research program. Faculty members may pursue research at their home institution, at an NSF-funded Center, at a research intensive institution or at a national laboratory. The RIA projects are expected to help further the faculty members research capability and effectiveness, to improve research and teaching at his or her home institution, and to involve undergraduate students in research experiences. With support from the National Science Foundation, Spelman College will conduct research on the movement of genetic material between organisms by means other than reproduction. This project will provide valuable research experience and mentorship for several minority undergraduate females at Spelman College and also during their summers at the University of Rochester. The project has the potential to be a model for increasing the number of minority females pursuing degree programs in STEM by infusing cutting-edge research and research techniques into the Spelman classroom. In addition, the project will help Spelman build its research capacity and enhance the educational and research experiences of their undergraduate females.

The objective of this project is to identify and characterize horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) of bacterial and fungal origin among niche-sharing arthropod species, specifically among blood-feeding and phloem-feeding arthropods. Specifically, this study aims to: Identify HGTs in the genomes of multiple arthropod species that share an ecological niche; and 2) Determine the potential functions, origins, and transfer mechanisms of identified HT genes in their recipient arthropod hosts. The results from Aim 1 would allow for the largest comparison of HGTs in multiple host arthropod species from multiple donor species done to date. The resulting data set obtained will be used to identify patterns in gene function, donor species, transfer mechanisms, and transfer rates using a variety of bioinformatic tools, as well as molecular methods. Findings from this work will allow for a better understanding of the role that HGT plays in generating phenotypic novelty in eukaryotes. The knowledge and information generated by this work will help to address questions surrounding the mechanisms, rates, and roles of HGT in eukaryotes, as well as contribute to work on genome evolution and gene regulation and functionalization. This work will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Rochester and the research will be incorporated into a research-based ecology course.

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