UVI receives National Science Foundation grant

Bevan Springer | 9/27/2018, 10:17 a.m.
The partner institutions involved in the execution of the grant are the University of the Virgin Islands, North Carolina A&T ...

ST. THOMAS—The University of the Virgin Islands(UVI) will lead a collaboration of four entities that received a $9 million award over five years from the National Science Foundation to create the Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership, the nation’s first broadening participation research center.

The partner institutions involved in the execution of the grant are the University of the Virgin Islands, North Carolina A&T State University, Fielding Graduate University and the Association of American Colleges & Universities.

CASL’s goal is to serve as the nation’s premier intellectual and scholarship-generating resource for examining and determining the kind of leadership that broadens the participation of African-Americans in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Likewise, CASL aims to meaningfully contribute to the development of the next generation of leaders who are able to preserve the legacy of historically Black colleges and universities’ success. Through its wide-ranging objectives of broadening participation research, expanding STEM education and developing mainstream outreach and knowledge transfer, UVI will be the lead institution charged with achieving the grant’s research objectives.

The university’s president, David Hall, expressed that through this award, the National Science Foundation is placing in the hands of UVI the future of STEM leadership within HBCUs. “This $9 million grant from NSF to establish a Center for the Advancement of Leadership in STEM is an outstanding statement about the enormous work and success of the University of the Virgin Islands in STEM fields,” said Hall.

He added, “Our faculty and students have perfected various models of success that must be researched, studied, compared to others and disseminated throughout the nation. To be the lead institution in this powerful consortium of institutions and to house the center is more compelling evidence of UVI’s quest for greatness.”

Hall applauded UVI Provost Camille McKayle for her outstanding work and leadership in achieving this accomplishment for UVI. He said, “The future of the U.S. and world economy turns on the work that is occurring in various STEM fields, and HBCUs play a critical role in attracting, developing and inspiring future leaders in this field. This is an awesome and humbling task that we and our partners are ready and willing to undertake.”

McKayle, who is the principal investigator for the grant, shared that UVI is proud to be a part of this historic center and is pleased with the homage that it will pay to the many faculty and administrators who have created a pathway to STEM greatness for so many UVI graduates. “The University of the Virgin Islands’ STEM programs have long produced excellent graduates who have gone on to make their mark in the classrooms as STEM teachers, in the STEM workforce, as well as in graduate programs, earning Ph.D.’s in various STEM disciplines,” said McKayle. “We have been able to do this consistently, in spite of having fewer resources than many other institutions. These types of stories are not uncommon at HBCUs. The Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership seeks to honor, preserve and build on this success through rigorous research that will lead to an understanding of the type of leadership that facilitates this.”