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HBCU-UP Receives $3 Million Grant to Start College's Energy Institute

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

The Morehouse effort to begin an energy institute got a huge boost with a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The grant obtained through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate Program allows the College to develop the Institute for Sustainable Energy, which will support biofuels research and a weatherization project.  The weatherization project utilizes faculty throughout the College to research homes in the Morehouse community.  For example, sociologists will study weatherization-related behavior while economists will look at the financial impact.  Students will go into the community and help people to retrofit their homes to make them more energy efficient.

“This allows our students to be on the cutting edge of the energy innovation age,” said HBCU-UP coordinator Lycurgus Muldrow, who is also the director of Sponsored Research for the Division of Science and Mathematics.  “President Franklin and the three academic deans have been strategizing to start an energy institute for several years.  This grand is the catalyst for the formation of a world-class program in sustainable energy.

ISE is part of the Morehouse-Wide Initiative for Sustainable Energy (M-WISE).   That project will create an interdisciplinary curriculum that will push students to become leaders in the global arena of sustainable energy.

“I want to bring people together across division lines – sociologist next to chemists, so that they can actually start tackling some of the world’s energy problems,” said Dean J.K. Haynes ’64.

Muldrow added: “Upon the infusion of energy topics throughout the institution, every student will be exposed to sustainable energy topics prior to graduating.  In addition, students from all three academic divisions have the opportunity to graduate with a minor in interdisciplinary energy.”

Muldrow said a new M-WISE staff is being hired and work has already started in getting faculty across the campus to develop new energy modules to incorporate into current courses.

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