Harris-Stowe State University (HSSU) and an alliance of eight Missouri colleges and universities recently received a joint $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.
Called MoLSAMP, the consortium consists of two historically black colleges: Harris-Stowe State University and Lincoln University; three major research institutions: the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Washington University in St. Louis; a regional comprehensive university: The University of Central Missouri; a highly selective liberal arts university: Truman State University and The Center for Plant and Life Sciences at an urban community college: St. Louis Community College.
By 2021, MoLSAMP aims to double the number of underrepresented minority science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates in Missouri each year. In 2014, there were 283 under-represented minority STEM graduates in Missouri. The alliance plans to more than double that number to exceed 630 within five years. Underrepresented minorities are identified by LSAMP as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders, disabled persons and veterans.
“This National Science Foundation grant, through the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program, is a major achievement for Harris-Stowe and for students across our state,” Gov. Jay Nixon said. “By increasing the diversity of students completing degrees, entering graduate programs, working in research laboratories and mentoring the next generation of STEM students, Harris-Stowe and the Missouri Alliance are building a foundation for increased diversity in STEM education and employment in this vital sector of our economy.”
The LSAMP program provides funding to alliances that implement comprehensive, evidence-based, innovative, and sustained strategies that ultimately result in the graduation of well-prepared, highly-qualified students from underrepresented groups who pursue graduate studies or careers in STEM.
Named for famed Ohio Congressman Louis Stokes who helped focus federal attention on the nation’s poor and led a special House investigation into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When Stokes retired from Congress in 1999, the Alliances for Minority Participation program was renamed the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation – or LSAMP. Congressman Stokes passed away in 2015.
“As one of two HBCUs in the state, Harris-Stowe is honored to have galvanized this coalition of public, and private, 2- and 4-year stellar institutions known for research and innovation in a variety of disciplines, to accomplish a worthy goal,” said Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, president, Harris-Stowe State University. “We are proud to carry on the legacy of transforming students into STEM professionals through this great program and introduce it in Missouri for the benefit of the students at all our institutions.”