USM ToTAL Program, Tougaloo Science Foundation Grants and JSU/NASA Partnership | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

USM ToTAL Program, Tougaloo Science Foundation Grants and JSU/NASA Partnership

The National Science Foundation recently donated a total of about $700,000 to Tougaloo College professors Bidisha Sengupta and George Armstrong.

The National Science Foundation recently donated a total of about $700,000 to Tougaloo College professors Bidisha Sengupta and George Armstrong. Photo by Tougaloo College

The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies received a $202,439 donation from the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services in February to start the Transition of Teens to Adult Life Program, which will provide services to help Mississippi youth with disabilities during their transition to adulthood.

The ToTAL Program will operate out of USM's Hattiesburg campus, and will offer counseling, work-based training and internship services for people ages 14 to 21 with disabilities. The service areas will include school districts, as well as colleges and universities, from 15 of the state's south and south-central counties.

USM's ToTAL Center will also offer work and life-skill training materials, an assessment and evaluation site, and a resource center with local, state and national resources. The center's services will focus on job-exploration counseling, workforce-readiness training and work-based-experiences internships.

The first job-training and internship activities have begun in Hattiesburg and will start at the university's campus in Long Beach this month. The programs will include a weeklong enrichment academy, classroom training and a six-week paid community-based internship.

For more information about the ToTAL Program, call Program Coordinator Jin Joo M. Crosby at 601-266-6037 or email jin.mcclendon@usm.edu. For more information about the Institute for Disability Studies, visit usm.edu/disability-studies.

Tougaloo Professors Receive $700,000 from National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation recently donated a total of about $700,000 to Tougaloo College professors Bidisha Sengupta and George Armstrong.

Sengupta, associate professor of chemistry at Tougaloo, received $299,971 for a three-year project that will focus on using biochemistry to find a link between Alzheimer's disease, and sleep and diet.

NSF will also donate an additional $399,718 to Tougaloo over the next two years for a joint project between Sengupta and George Armstrong, chair of Tougaloo's chemistry department. The project will work to introduce a teaching method into Tougaloo's curriculum called "process oriented guided inquiry learning," which will have students work in self-managed small teams with teachers serving as facilitators.

NSF made the donations as part of its HBCU-UP program, which offers grants to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics undergraduate education and research programs at historically black colleges and universities. For more information on the HBCU-UP program, visit https://www.nsf.gov/funding.

JSU Enters Partnership with NASA

Jackson State University will be the first HBCU to enter into a mentor-protege agreement under NASA's Shared Services Center following a signing ceremony on Thursday, May 31.

The agreement will allow JSU to bid, issue proposals and subcontract projects with NASA, and will provide training and tools to help the university become a major business contractor. It also launches a partnership between JSU and its mentor, information-technology company Enterprise Services.

JSU personnel will receive training for marketing assessments, business-development planning and strategy, and program and project management as part of the agreement. A press release says the partnership will also help JSU generate revenue and enhance its curricula, infrastructure and personnel.

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