FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Heritage University receives five-year $4.5 million grant from U.S. Dept. of Education to expand STEM studies in the Yakima Valley
Toppenish, Wash. – Heritage University has received a five-year, $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education to expand science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies in the Yakima Valley. This program will employ mentors and role models for high school students interested in STEM careers and help students navigate a path for studying STEM in college, supplying the Valley with the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians. This grant will also allow Heritage to build a 4,700 square foot STEM Education Center on its Toppenish campus, complete with laboratories, learning spaces and equipment to support STEM learning programs.
Heritage president Andrew Sund, Ph.D. is proud of the faculty who made this compelling application to the Dept. of Education, and grateful for U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s ongoing efforts to support STEM Education in Washington State. “As the chair for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Senator Murray knows the importance STEM education will play in helping students remain on the cutting edge of innovation in Washington State,” said Dr. Sund. “Because of this award, more students will be able to achieve STEM degrees and fulfill the needs of employers for whom the demand for STEM graduates continues to soar.”
Sund is also thankful to the RGI Corporation of Sunnyside, Wash., the firm who collaborated with Heritage faculty to prepare the grant application. “RGI was masterful in distilling the unique role that Heritage will play in increasing STEM graduates in the valley,” said Sund.
Heritage University Natural Science Department Chair Jessica Black, Ph.D., who will serve as the principal investigator for the grant, is excited for the opportunity to be able to build the capacity to better serve Heritage’s STEM students and the community. “We will focus on empowering our students to overcome barriers that often limit access to higher education. Heritage STEM students will graduate as leaders,” said Dr. Black.
The grant period began October 1, 2021 and will run for five years. Construction of the new STEM Education Center will begin in late 2022. For more information, contact Davidson Mance at (509) 969-6084 or Mance_D@Heritage.edu.