Funding roundup

Larry Adamson of the Connie J. Hillman Family Foundation and Pima Foundation President Marcy Euler sign documents for the Hillman Foundation's $5 Million challenge grant to Pima Community College, the largest private gift in the history of the college. (Photo: PCC)

Pima Community College (PCC) has received a $5 million challenge grant from the Connie J. Hillman Family Foundation to fund new programs and workforce development initiatives in southern Arizona.

The grant, which is the largest gift in the history of the college and its foundation, is a two-to-one matching grant. For every $2 the college’s foundation raises, the Hillman Foundation will match $1 up to $5 million. To receive the full $5 million, Pima Foundation will have to raise a total of $10 million over the next three years.

“The pandemic worsened financial barriers already faced by prospective Latinx and first-generation college students,” said PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert. “Our challenge is to fund new targeted workforce initiatives that will help those in our underserved communities get back to school and on a path to a family-sustaining career.”

Pima Foundation plans to raise challenge funds by appealing to large and small individual donors, local businesses and industries and other foundations.

The Pima Foundation also received recently a $10,000 donation from the Tucson Street Rod Association (TSRA). The funds, which will support Pima’s applied technology programs, were raised during the annual Rodders Day Car Show. Including this year’s donation, TSRA has donated $30,000 to the college over the last four years.

Alabama

Gadsden State Community College will soon provide a new standardized patient (SP) program thanks to a $19,199 grant from the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama. The Cardinal Foundation is granting an additional $5,800 for a total of $25,000 for the project.

The college plans to outfit four standardized patient rooms and the equipment needed to start the program. The SP simulation will include trained individuals to portray the roles of patients, family members and others to allow students to practice physical exam skills, history-taking skills, communication skills and other exercises.

Through the program, Gadsden State students in one of the eight health science programs learn to deal with difficult family members or patients, deliver bad news to a patient and family, deal with behavioral health scenarios and work to resolve interpersonal conflict or difficult co-workers in challenging situations.

“These scenarios are nearly impossible to train for without the use of standardized patients,” said Kenneth Kirkland, dean of health sciences.

Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) raised $18,257 on Giving Tuesday on Nov. 30 for the FSCJ H.O.P.E. Food Pantry.

An anonymous donor had originally agreed to match up to $12,500, but the donor were so touched by the outpouring of support that the person agreed to match all donations dollar for dollar, bringing the total to $36,514, which equates to 219,084 meals for families in need.

In addition, students, faculty and staff helped collect food and personal items for pantry. On Giving Tuesday, FSCJ and Feeding Northeast Florida also partnered to host a mobile food giveaway at Downtown Campus, distributing 6,052 pounds of food to 207 individuals, 97 of whom were students.

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Miami Dade College (MDC) will use a $1 million grant from the Miami Downtown Development Authority(DDA) to help create an industry-centered curriculum in applied artificial intelligence (AI).

DDA also will serve as a special anchor to connect students with in-demand, high-paying jobs. Through this initiative, MDC and the authority will customize connections between new and existing companies located in downtown Miami and local talent.

Earlier this year, MDC received nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to fund the development of AI courses with an interdisciplinary approach and ultimately offer a college credit certificate in AI.

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Tallahassee Community College (TCC) has received a $250,000 grant from Bank of America to help create a medical lab tech program at its Ghazvini Center for Healthcare Education.

“This grant will allow us to support a cohort of 20 students from their first day of college to their completion of the program,” said Provost and VP for Academic Affairs Calandra Stringer.

Students in the program will attend seminars throughout the semester, which will include information on student support services, financial aid, test-taking strategies, networking, professionalism, interpersonal skills and team-building, according to Stringer.

One of TCC’s partners on the new program is Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH).

“As the first program of its kind in the Big Bend region, the medical lab tech program at TCC is an incredible investment in retaining talent, who previously would have had to leave town for this specialized training, right here in Tallahassee,” said TMH President and CEO Mark O’Bryant.

A grant to Tallahassee Community College will support the creation of a new medical lab tech program. (Photo: TCC)

Illinois

Malcolm X College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), is teaming up with the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) to support undergraduate students training in biomedical research during the last two years of their studies. The work is being funded through a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The Bridges to the Baccalaureate grant project will provide two-year traineeships annually to four underrepresented students who transfer to UIC from Malcolm X or one of the other CCC colleges. While the students complete their work in a UIC undergraduate degree program, they also will participate as biomedical researchers on projects involving cancer biology and/or population health studies.

“We know that the first two years of college are essential in letting students build their identities as scientists, and this program is an exciting way to build a curriculum bridge from research labs at UIC to course-based experiences in our college,” said Minxiu Wang, project co-investigator and assistant professor of biology at Malcolm X College.

The new grant builds on work within a previous Bridges to the Baccalaureate grant, which established important pathways that the training-focused program follows.

New Jersey

In honor of the firm’s first 50 years, Traphagen CPAs & Wealth Advisors completed 50 acts of kindness to give back to the community they serve, saving the biggest for last: a $10,000 donation to the Bergen Community College Foundation.

“An education is more than just a degree,” founding partner of the firm and foundation board vice chair Peter Traphagen said at a recent event. “It’s something you wake up with every day of your life.”

The firm’s partners sponsored half of the donation, while Traphagen himself contributed the other half.

Bergen Community College Foundation board vice chair Peter Traphagen presents a check to college board member John Johnson. (Photo: Bergen)

Virginia

Pantries helping Lord Fairfax Community College students facing food insecurity will be better stocked thanks to a $6,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, which worked in partnership with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE).

The grant will allow the college to increase and diversify its offerings of fresh, healthy fare, particularly fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese and milk, as well as purchase refrigerators and freezers. Funding also will help to purchase more hygiene items for campus bathrooms.

About the Author

Tabitha Whissemore
is a contributor to Community College Daily and managing editor of AACC's Community College Journal.