“Investing in HBCUs will pay tremendous dividends not just for Dow but for society as a whole,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Vice President of University Advancement.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) is among a group of five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to benefit from a more than $5 million investment from Dow Inc. for programming, partnership and support to enhance the Black STEM talent pipeline, the company announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.
Along with FAMU, the other HBCUs include Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University and Southern University.
FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., a trained scientist, has long been a proponent of the potential of HBCUs to bolster the ranks of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in America.
“Given our long history of producing STEM graduates at FAMU and the current challenges students are facing as a result of COVID-19, we welcome this timely initiative from Dow,” Robinson said. “America will reach its full potential in terms of innovation and discovery by adequately utilizing the talent pool at the nation’s HBCUs. This partnership is a major step in this direction.”
This investment is seeded by an initial $500,000 contribution in 2020 as part of the Dow ACTs commitment designed to address systemic racism and inequality in the areas of advocacy, community and talent.
“Representation and diverse perspectives are key drivers for innovation and business success,” said Karen S. Carter, chief Human Resources officer and chief Inclusion officer, Dow Inc. “This investment shows our commitment to strengthening and diversifying the American manufacturing and STEM pipeline and attracting a workforce equipped to lead our Company into the future.”
The company is investing an additional $4.6 million to expand support through 2024 in the following areas:
- Investing to inspire and attract underrepresented minorities to STEM disciplines by supporting STEM programming, including a partnership and additional $250,000 grant to Project Lead The Way in support of the development of teachers and students at schools near our HBCU partners.
- Investing to retain and develop Black students in STEM by developing curricula and supporting sustainable chemistry, green chemistry and functional disciplines, such as supply chain, finance and engineering.
- Investing to build the Ph.D. pipeline of Black student talent by supporting undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research programs. This includes funding year-long research experiences, providing Dow mentors, networking opportunities with graduate schools and exposure to industrial research.
- Investing in the Future of STEM Scholars initiative (FOSSI) by underwriting the education of 10 students per year pursuing STEM degrees at HBCUs. Funding will provide scholarships, mentoring opportunities, and internship placements.
A fully inclusive workplace and world is imperative to effectively doing business as a global company. Dow continues to champion inclusion, diversity and equity; and through our partnerships, we aim to expand opportunities and provide support to those pursuing STEM careers.
Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., vice president of University Advancement and dean of the School of Business and Industry at FAMU, said the value of the partnership cannot be overstated.
“Investing in HBCUs will pay tremendous dividends not just for Dow but for society as a whole,” said Friday-Stroud. “We are excited about this expansion in our partnership and the future prospects for our STEM students.”