Enhancing and Expanding ScienceGAMBIER, Ohio (May 18, 2004) A $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) will enable Kenyon to purchase new science equipment, create a faculty position in physics with an emphasis on biological applications, start a math-skills center for students, and establish a partnership with the University of Wisconsin at Madison for collaborative student research.
In addition, the HHMI grant will introduce a program that reaches out to the local community. Four workshops taught by Kenyon faculty will help Mount Vernon and Knox County middle-school teachers create hands-on science activities with their students.
Kenyon is one of forty-two institutions that will receive a combined $50 million from HHMI. The four-year grants, ranging from $500,000 to $1.6 million, will support a variety of programs to improve undergraduate science.
Under the direction of grant coordinator and biology professor Joan L. Slonczewski, the College received $700,000 from HHMI in 2000 and $1.5 million in 1996. The grants represent some of the largest gifts in Kenyon's history and demonstrate HHMI's confidence in science education and student-faculty research at Kenyon.
Slonczewski says the most recent grant will allow Kenyon to maintain and enhance its current programs. "We're sending our students to some of the top graduate schools and medical programs in the country, and this grant ensures that the tradition of excellence will continue," she says.
A central theme of the current grant proposal was the intersection of physical science and biological inquiry. In addition, according to Slonczewski, the math-skills center will help to expand the reach of the sciences to students of all majors fulfilling their science and quantitative reasoning requirements.
HHMI invited 198 public and private baccalaureate and master's institutions to compete for the new awards. They were selected for their record of preparing students for graduate education and careers in research, teaching, or medicine. A panel of distinguished scientists and educators reviewed the proposals and recommended the forty-two awards approved by the Institute's Board of Trustees on May 4.
One of the nation's leading liberal arts and sciences colleges and home to the Kenyon Review, Kenyon College offers 1,594 students a challenging educational experience enriched by a culture of friendship. Graduates of the College have included actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and author E. L. Doctorow.