Targeted Infusion Project: Innovating the Research Educational Experiences in Johnson C. Smith University's lower/upper level Chemistry Courses
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. Johnson C. Smith University will develop and implement polymer chemistry courses and research opportunities into the curriculum of the Department of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. Exposure to polymer science and widely used characterization instrumentation will better prepare undergraduates to pursue employment and graduate studies in an area that has strong employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, but has low representation of minorities.
The overall goal of the program is to design an upper level research course centered on the synthesis, characterization and application of synthetic and natural polymers. Specific project objectives include 1) the development of a Research in Polymer Science course that will introduce students to polymer science through student-led, faculty-advised research projects, 2) establish collaborations with local polymer-based industries through participation in project programming and 3) implement a Thermal Analysis Certificate program to increase the employability of JCSU students as technicians/scientists. Most importantly, this project will increase the institution's research capacity, thus providing additional opportunities for students to participate in active research projects.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.