Coconino Community College and Dine College receive $1 Million Grant

Funds from federal Bridges to Baccalaureate program will go to summer science research program for Native American students

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The National Institutesof Health has awarded Coconino Community College (CCC), in partnership with Northern Arizona University (NAU) and Diné College, a $1 million grant through the federal Bridges to Baccalaureate program.

CCC will use the funds to foster Native American student interest in biomedical health science, said Dr. Jani Ingram, associate professor of analytical and environment chemistry at NAU. Ingram also serves as the Bridges director.

Specifically, the grant will fund a summer research program at NAU for CCC and Diné College students.

Officials with CCC and Diné College will choose eight students to participate in the summer 2013 research program placing the students in a health science research group at NAU.

"The student will work alongside the faculty member and learn about the different techniques of research," Ingram said. "They will be exposed to different areas of health science as well as have opportunities to explore different interests."

At the end of the summer, the students will present their work before a research poster session and also be given the opportunity to attend educational advancement conferences such as the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science conference.

This is the first time CCC and NAU have partnered to work on a research-related grant. The grant award is an example of the close working relationship the two institutions have formed over the past several years.

Dr. Ingrid Lee, CCC's dean of arts and sciences, said working in collaboration with the college's NAU partners has been an exciting opportunity.

"This grant encourages our underrepresented student population to become scientists, addressing a nationwide initiative," she said.

NAU and CCC have successfully collaborated on the CCC2NAU program, the library merger, reverse transfer program, faculty sharing and many other opportunities the two institutions have seized to leverage resources to benefit students.

The NIH grant, awarded over a five-year period, is designed to help students bridge the transition from a two-year to four-year institution, with students ultimately graduating with a bachelor's degree.

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