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The Golden LEAF Foundation Funds NCCU STEM Program

North Carolina Central University’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) Program has received a $185,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to provide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based opportunities for students and teachers in three rural counties of North Carolina.

The grant entitled NC STEM ID, will allow BRITE to offer Nash, Edgecombe and Martin counties a multi-faceted approach to creating a STEM identity for students through STEM-based cross-curriculum professional development opportunities.

“STEM education continues to be a critical need within the state and nationally. It is of great importance this education and its benefits be accessible to all students,” said Dr. Undi Hoffler, interim vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development. “Thanks to funding from Golden LEAF, NCCU’s BRITE will enhance STEM education in North Carolina’s rural counties with resources as well as provide teachers an opportunity to create an innovative curriculum for students.” 

Funding will also provide STEM-engagement opportunities for middle and high school students through summer camps, field trips and internship opportunities at BRITE.

Another focus of the grant is alliance-building with local community colleges and companies through participation in local STEM days and to create sustainability of future STEM days.

“Through these activities and events, we hope to promote a STEM identity among a significant number of disadvantaged students who may not be aware of their talents and/or opportunities in STEM,” said Dr. Carla Edge Oldham, assistant research professor in NCCU’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and principal investigator for the grant. “We also hope to create a pipeline for students to enter into STEM degree programs at local community colleges or at NCCU’s BRITE program.”

NCCU’s Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise is strongly focused on research, particularly in the areas of drug discovery and manufacturing technology. This institute combines highly credentialed faculty with state-of-the-art equipment and industry-modeled labs to create unsurpassed research and learning environments.

Students conduct multidisciplinary and inter-institutional studies focused on health issues that disproportionately affect minority and underserved populations. The program is designed to prepare students for careers in the biomedical sciences.


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