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North Carolina A&T, Prairie View A&M, Southern, and Virginia State universities are just four of the many colleges to launch new science, technology, engineering,  and math (STEM) student success and innovation programs for the fall semester. One of nine public universities, Virginia State has announced it will be a part of Mitre Corporation’s University Innovation Exchange program.

The Innovation Exchange enables Mitre to leverage academic research and ideas, conduct joint research, and work with professors and students. The program also allows Mitre to employ top undergraduate and graduate students as interns and full-time employees.  The Mitre Corporation operates federally funded research and development centers.

Other participating universities include Christopher Newport, William & Mary, George Mason, James Madison, Old Dominion, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

In North Carolina, members of the class of 2023 at North Carolina A&T State University were introduced as ‘Aggies’ during the 2019 New Student Induction ceremony held this week. Earlier, the Aggie Success Academy at North Carolina A&T announced that it had received funding as an inaugural Student Success Innovation Lab grant competition winner.

The Aggie Success Academy will provide a summer residence program that will integrate first-year students into the university and prepare them for success. The grants awarded to institutions in the Student Success Innovation Lab cohort will help more students finish their degrees in a timely fashion.

“Affordable tuition at our UNC System institutions gives North Carolinians the opportunity to pursue higher education. The Student Success Innovation Lab reflects the hard work we are doing to ensure that students have the support they need to seize this opportunity fully,” said UNC System Interim President William Roper.

In Texas, the Prairie View A&M University announced a $3 million federal grant to perform research on high-pressure combustion in microgravity. The funding comes through NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project Institutional Research Opportunity program, which supports the training of students and faculty at colleges and universities.

The new Center for High-Pressure Combustion in Microgravity will collaborate with NASA Glenn Research Center and three mentor universities (Cornell, Georgia Tech, and Auburn University) to build the research capability in high-pressure combustion at Prairie View. Funding of the NASA Center will also promote new graduate programs in Mechanical Engineering, create new engineering courses, and train students for the workforce.

Southern University and A&M College received a $400,000 research grant through the National Science Foundation and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) to develop a Computer Engineering Research Lab (CERL) in the electrical engineering department.

The CERL is designed to provide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students with practical skills and industry-like experiences through the curriculum implementation which is needed for qualifying them to work in either industry or pursue graduate studies.

“This grant will allow underrepresented groups in engineering to acquire skills and learn the technology that is currently used in the engineering and computer industry,” said Fred Lacy, Entergy Corporation endowed professor and chair of the electrical engineering department in a statement. “Since computers and other technological devices are everywhere in society, it is important to teach students engineering design skills associated with these devices. This project will give students the knowledge and ability to perform projects with real-world applications, such as home automation.”

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