SAN ANTONIO, TX – The National Science Foundation (NSF) selected St. Philip’s College (SPC) as the recipient of a $1.5 million grant to support their efforts in meeting the mission of the Ciencia, Ingeniería, y Matemáticas Aliados – Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CIMA-LSAMP) Program. CIMA-lSAMP strives to transform science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through innovative recruitment, retention strategies and experiences that support group historically underrepresented in STEM disciplines including African-Americans, Alaskan Natives, American Indians, Hispanic Americans, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific mentorship, faculty mentorship, tutoring, supplemental instruction and undergraduate research.

CIMA was formed in the fall of 2013 when St. Philip’s College was first awarded the LSAMP Bridges to Baccalaureate Program (B2B) grant. It is comprised of the five Alamo Colleges: San Antonio College, Palo Alto College, Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, and St. Philip’s College.

Each year, SPC hosts the CIMA-LSAMP Research Symposium where research scholars across the five colleges congregate to present their research and findings. The years, the event was held virtually via Zoom and featured 56 student presenters. Research topics included: Creating Efficient and Affordable Face Masks to Combat COVID-19; A Search for Nitrogen-fixing Microorganisms in Tillandsia recurvata from South Texas; Assessing Learning and Executive Function in Marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus) for Human Application; and Plant Metabolite Extraction Protocol and Investigation of Forest Disturbance effects on Costa Rican Howler Monkeys. The virtual event welcomed over 160 spectators.

For more information on the CIMA-LSAMP program, click here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip’s College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. St. Philip’s College creates an environment fostering excellence in academic and technical achievement while expanding its commitment to opportunity and access. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/spc/.

JACKSON, MS – Jackson State University, a historically black university, located in Jackson, Mississippi is among four Mississippi universities where a $20 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation will spur creative discovery and economic opportunities through Mississippi’s research universities.

According to a new release by the University, the state of Mississippi will establish the Center for Emergent Molecular Optoelectronices, an inter-disciplinary, multi-institution materials research program. Mississippi State University (MSU) will serve as the project’s administrative lead, and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will serve as the science lead. Along with MSU and USM, Jackson State University (JSU) and the University of Mississippi (UM) will be a part of the new center, which will facilitate the development of research capabilities and educational opportunities in the growing optoelectronic, energy and biotechnology research field.

The NSF grant comes through the organization’s EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) program, which enhances the research competitiveness of states and jurisdictions by strengthening STEM capacity and capability.

“This initiative will be a tremendous benefit to the people of Mississippi and to our research universities,” said Mark E. Keenum, MSU President. “Increasing our university research capabilities makes our state and our institution more competitive, increases educational opportunities and keeps us at forefront of emerging technologies. This new center and its focus on organic semiconductors will make existing Mississippi industries more competitive and help the state attract new companies. I am proud that MSU is playing a lead role in this endeavor.”

MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw is the principal investigator and project director for the grant. Sarah Morgan of USM is the science director. Co-principal investigators include Jason Azoulay from USM, Jared Delcamp from UM and Glake Hill from JSU.

“I am so pleased that the National Science Foundation selected our faculty as the science lead for this important project,” said Rodney D. Bennett, University of Southern Mississippi President. “With USM’s Center for Optoelectronic Materials and Devices serving as the mission center for this grant, our internationally-renowned polymer science and engineering experts look forward to partnering with Mississippi’s other research institutions as they examine far more complicated processes than ever before. I am confident their work will impact our communities positively for many years to come.”

The Center for Emergent Molecular Optoelectronics will develop new, unified research methodologies an organic semiconductors, an area that is vital to the advancement of diverse areas such as technology, electronics and biomedicine. To facilitate the research, the center will establish state-of-the-art research instrumentation for common use across the state and support collaborative research among institutions. The new scientific infrastructure will fill a void for the state and facilitate advanced basic and applied research.

“The University of Mississippi is pleased to be a member of this dynamic, multi-institutional team for the Center of Emergent Molecular Optoelectronics and help develop pivotal research capabilities that will be benefit Mississippi, our nation and the world,” said Jeffrey S. Vitter, UM Chancellor. “This initiative will bolster collaborative research efforts and continue pioneering STEM workforce development, which is critical for attracting high tech industry to the state.”

New optoelectronic functionality developed by center research will support the basic knowledge necessary to bring new technologies to reality, resulting in new intellectual property and potential job creation.

“Jackson State University is elated to be a partner of this groundbreaking venture for the state of Mississippi and Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Dr. William B. Bynum Jr., president of Jackson State. “It is my hope that we continue to expand on these opportunities to spur economic growth for Mississippi and enhance opportunities for our students.”

The new center will benefit from connections to national laboratories, NSF Top 100 research universities, state development officials and representatives from industry. The grant will also fund K-14 outreach efforts aimed at creating a stronger, more diverse pipeline of STEM students.

“The grant from the National Science Foundation demonstrates the incredible capabilities housed within our research universities,” said Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. “Working together, these capabilities are amplified. The research conduced through this grant will put Mississippi on the forefront of emerging technologies.”