Paine College Faculty Members Recipients of National $340,000 Federal Grant

Posted by lsuggs | 09/6/2013 10:24 AM

(Augusta, GA) – Paine College is elated to announce Dr. LaShawnda Lindsay-Dennis and Dr. Lawanda Cummings’ recent grant from the National Science Foundation for a project proposal entitled, “Understanding Barriers to STEM Education for African-American Women”. The grant, in the amount of $342,899, will be awarded over a three year period.

The current project is an extension of the professors’ multidisciplinary research focused on African-American women, cultural meaning and academic processes.  This project is the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration between Dr. Lindsay-Dennis, Assistant Professor of Education and Dr. Cummings, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the College. Dr. Lindsay-Dennis serves as the principal investigator and Dr. Cummings serves as the co-principal investigator on this project. 

The project will investigate the underlying factors linked to the low participation of African-American women in the field of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  This project will contribute to the body of knowledge about direct and indirect influences on the ethnic minority women’s involvement in STEM career fields.

“We are excited about this collaborative research project focusing on the under-representation of African-American women on STEM career pathways.  It is our goal to help Paine College and similar institutions to create pipeline interventions to address the growing demands of the STEM workforce,” said Dr. Lindsay-Dennis.

Dr. Lindsay-Dennis has been with the College for 3.5 years and worked diligently on grants for programs similar to this new award.  Dr. Lindsay-Dennis received a $15,000 grant from The Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) in 2011. This grant, Project P.U.S.H. (Propelling Underserved Students into Higher Education), funded a summer initiative to enhance the academic functioning for African-American girls who are at-risk for school failure through mentoring and exposure to curriculum to promote academic functioning. Prior to The Community Foundation for the CSRA grant, Dr. Lindsay-Dennis received her first grant at the College in the amount of $5,200 from the Faculty-Student Research Program just three years ago.  

Dr. Cummings, a relatively new faculty member, also received the Faculty-Student Research Program last year for $5,000 to conduct research focused on mentoring and academic support for incarcerated youth. Her work also includes STEM focused pipeline initiatives such as TREES (Training and Research Experiences in Environmental Sciences) and ESDC (Environmental Science Day Camp) at Paine College. Dr. Cummings was recently funded as a Co-PI by the Department of Energy for the WET-SEED (Workforce Enhancement and Training: Supplying Education and Energy Development) Initiative. Current funding includes a plan to continue both the middle and high school environmental science pipeline programs as part of a multi-focused research and education grant for 1.1 million dollars.

The Paine College Community congratulates its shining stars, Dr. Lindsay-Dennis and Dr. Cummings, on their latest achievement.

For more information about Paine College, please visit www.paine.edu, or contact Leah Suggs in the Office of Communications & Marketing at (706) 821-8322, (803) 524-3195 or lsuggs@paine.edu.

Photo caption: Dr. LaShawnda Lindsay-Dennis, faculty member at Paine College, recent recipient of National Science Foundation grant.

Photo Caption: Dr. Lawanda Cummings, faculty member at Paine College, Co-PI for the recently funded National Science Foundation grant.