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NEWS RELEASE

USDA Awards 17 Education Grants to 14 Hispanic-Serving Institutions

Media Contact: Marti Asner (202) 720-8188 masner@reeusda.gov
Technical Contact: Jeffrey Gilmore (202) 720-1793 jgilmore@reeusda.gov

WASHINGTON, October 4, 2001-The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that more than $3.3 million in education grants have been awarded to 14 Hispanic-Serving institutions in California, New York, New Mexico, Texas, and Puerto Rico. The Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program is the only USDA competitive grants program specifically targeted to Hispanic-Serving Institutions. It is administered by USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

"Now in its fifth year, the Hispanic-Serving Education grants program is making significant progress in attracting under-represented students to science and other fields," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. "These grants will help support projects in human nutrition, aquaculture, agribusiness, international trade, and veterinary science as well as establishing links to Latino communities."

The grants program is also helping colleges and universities to develop new curricula in agricultural sciences, including new degree programs in food technology, food and warehouse management, pest management, and soil science.

Partnerships between USDA and these institutions are an important priority because USDA cannot achieve its goals without a well-trained workforce having a solid foundation in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and family and consumer sciences.

Currently, there are more than 200 Hispanic-Serving Institutions where Hispanics constitute a minimum of 25% of the undergraduate full-time enrollment. These institutions are located in 12 states plus Puerto Rico.

FY 2001 HIGHER EDUCATION HISPANIC-SERVING INSTITUTIONS FUNDED PROJECTS

CALIFORNIA

California State University, Fresno $271,414-- This project is designed to increase minority student enrollments in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology by attaining the more immediate goal of educating school children in Fresno County schools (grades K-8) about the importance of agriculture.

California State University, Los Angeles $150,000--This project will expand the existing nutritional science curriculum into areas of food service and technology. Many Hispanic students will then be able to pursue career paths in the food technology and food service areas.

Porterville College, California $146,070--The college will implement the Tulane County Agri- Business Academy which hopes to increase Hispanic representation in the agricultural sciences. The Academy will develop an intensive experiential learning component, job placement program, and the addition of a senior agriculture specialist.

West Hills Community College, Coalinga, California $150,000--The purpose of this grant is to provide students hands-on, industry-relevant education leading to employment in modern agriculture, soil analysis or food safety fields.

NEW MEXICO

Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico $299,262-- Funding will be used for the Adobe Project which tries to retain and graduate those students who have been suspended or expelled from high school. In addition, the Adobe Project helps these students explore careers related07/25/2007s.

New Mexico State University, Las Cruces $150,000--The grant will be used to recruit college sophomores, juniors, and seniors interested in research and provide them with a research opportunity in agricultural sciences, engineering, and technology at existing off-campus science centers.

$147,406-The grant will be used to support the Oasis Food Guild, which provides an environment for student experiential learning in sustainable agriculture in an arid climate by establishing and operating a student-managed, diversified, fresh vegetable and herb garden. The project will complement courses in horticulture, agronomy, agricultural economics, and agricultural business.

NEW YORK

Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx $300,000--This is a joint project between Lehman College of the City University of New York and the New York Botanical Garden. The program will create a computer laboratory at Lehman to give undergraduate students access to research equipment that is currently not available to them. It will also create a geographical information system laboratory that will be used by students at both schools. This project will serve as a model for other Hispanic-Serving Institutions to strengthen their undergraduate programs and encourage more students to attend graduate school or seek research careers by forming partnerships with local private institutions.

PUERTO RICO

College Universitario del Este, Carolina, Puerto Rico $267,182-This project will lead to the development of an executive agribusiness master program through distance learning. It targets executives in a growing number of agriculturally related businesses that are presently not being served by existing programs.

Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Barranquitas $145,720-This project will promote and strengthen the science curriculum of the biology program at the Barranquitas campus of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. This will be accomplished by improving the curriculum, faculty development, and enhancement of instructional delivery systems. Biotechnology, as a new course, will be created and integrated into the Bachelor of Science program.

Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San German $149,726--This project will take place on the San German campus of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico in southwestern Puerto Rico. The project's goals include adding a bachelor's and master's degree level program in environmental sciences and developing a Geographic Information System facility for both undergraduates and graduate students.

University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez $113,629--This project will create a laboratory for food microbiology, which will provide undergraduate students with facilities in which they can develop laboratory skills in the area of food microbiology.

TEXAS

Texas A&M University, Kingsville $299,730-This grant will be used to attract and support the under-represented Hispanic students from the Lower Rio Grande Valley and other south Texas communities through a comprehensive, multifaceted and culturally relevant educational program. $299,969-- The project will encourage the local Hispanic population to pursue science careers by providing them hands-on research experience and financial assistance.

University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas $149,730- The goal of the program is to develop a minor degree program to train students to work in non-profit public management programs that focus on food gleaning and recovery, food distribution and safety, and apparel recovery. The 20-hour program will link courses in nutrition, business administration, and fashion management programs in an innovative approach to non-profit management.

Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi $149,926--The grant will train under-represented students in leading-edge genomics technologies as a means to attract more students into agriculture-related careers and to reduce attrition from science programs.