ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University faculty and staff are off to a solid start in winning state and federal grant support this academic year, after having logged one of their most successful years ever in 2009-10.
During fiscal year 2009-10, Winthrop brought in $16.6 million in grants, as well as another $9.5 million in July and August. The number of grants has remained constant at around 37, but the dollar amounts have been substantially higher compared to the past four years.
“This accomplishment speaks to the dedication of our faculty and staff to public service,” President Anthony DiGiorgio said, “as well as the entrepreneurial spirit they have brought to these challenging economic times.”
While grant funds don’t replace state operating support for the institution, they do help support some of the special public service work that is also a part of Winthrop’s mission.
The Richard W. Riley College of Education has won two major grants to help with teacher quality and for school leadership training, including in some of the most economically challenged parts of South Carolina.
The College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education also received a grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a scholarship program to recruit and prepare much needed math and science teachers. Faculty members within the colleges of arts and sciences, visual and performing arts, and business play a crucial role in these grants, said Jennie Rakestraw, dean of the education college.
“These grants are allowing us … to be very innovative, forward thinking and leading the way at both state and national levels,” Rakestraw said. “We are the only South Carolina university to receive a Teacher Quality Partner grant and a School Leadership grant.
“The U.S. Department of Education saw that our proposal would have an impact in rural, high poverty areas of South Carolina,” Rakestraw said.
Some of this year’s grants are renewals, such as the TRiO Student Support Services, which was renewed with a three-percent increase. Started in 2005, that program has been again funded to serve 160 students to ensure the academic success of low-income, first generation students and disabled program participants.
Winthrop will receive $238,496 per year for a five-year grant cycle and cobbled together matching money from the Foundation Board, the Alumni Association and University College, according to Rose Gray, TRiO program director.
Some awards provide additional scholarship support for students as well, with particular emphasis on support for those pursuing interests in the sciences.
Overall, the highest grant amounts so far are for:
• NetSCOPE, Teacher Quality Partnership Program, U.S. Department of Education, $7.3 million
• NetLEAD, School Leadership Program, U.S. Department of Education, $3.7 million
• TRiO, U.S. Department of Education, $1.19 million
• WISE, Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, U.S. National Science Foundation, $1.19 million
• McNair Post baccalaureate Program, U.S. Department of Education, $880,000
• Underground steam pipe lines, U.S. Department of Energy, $416,476
• Regulation of Cardiac Myocyte Proliferation and Myocardial Regeneration in Ciona Intestinalis, National Institute of Health, $419,115
• FOCUS - Academic Success Center, University College, U.S. Department of Education, $350,000