There are certain HBCU campuses we easily identify as money-makers in the research and development fields. Florida A&M, Howard, Morehouse School of Medicine, North Carolina A&T, Alabama A&M, Jackson State, Delaware State, University of the Virgin Islands, Tennessee State, and Tuskegee were the top-ranked HBCUs in research spending in 2016, all placing in the top 300 nationally.
Winston-Salem State University placed 585th on the list, but looking over the institution’s grantmaking headlines over the last calendar year shows that WSSU, particularly its School of Health Sciences, is emerging as a national powerhouse in research for social work and public health.
WSSU last week announced a $2.4 million grant from the US Department of Education’s HBCU Graduate Fellowship funding program, which supplements financial support for graduate students attending black colleges. The Rams’ grant will specifically support student access to advanced training in occupational health, nursing, computer science, healthcare administration, teaching, and rehab counseling.
In November, WSSU received $325,000 to help adults in Winston-Salem and surrounding counties become of aware of and to use weight management programs. That award came three weeks after the university received $385,000 to launch a diabetes prevention program, and just a few months after WSSU received a $3 million gift from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Koch Foundation to create a research center dedicated to studying economic mobility in some of North Carolina counties that are proximate to the WSSU campus.
That’s just over $6 million dollars for a school for programs helping African-Americans in one of the states worst plagued with poverty and declining industry. And not only are these programs aimed at helping black folks on the fringes, but they are in areas designed to help residents live wealthier (through advanced education and economic mobility research) and healthier (through diabetes prevention) lives.
Schools, including HBCUs, may gross more in research funding, but there are few schools better than WSSU at putting these awards into directly into people’s lives and in some of the nation’s most vulnerable communities.