WSSU Receives National Science Foundation Grant to Enhance Physics Labs

Dr. Gharavi-Naeini

Dr. Jafar Gharavi-Naeini

September 26, 2012

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has won a $299,939 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop and enhance its physics laboratories.

“The project will impact about 300 students studying in fields of science such as biophysics, optics and renewable energy, but particular those students enrolled in the physics minor program,” said Dr. Jafar Gharavi-Naeini, associate professor of physics and principal investigator responsible for the grant. “By improving the infrastructure for physics education we will also be able to integrate interdisciplinary research into our efforts.  The improved labs for physics education and research will play a major role in preparing our undergraduate students to move on to graduate studies or join the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) workforce.  Also, the grant will help us strengthen the physics minor program, which will support the development of a physics major program within the next five years.

“This grant is significant because it comes at a time when many HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) are losing their physics programs,” Gharavi-Naeini added.”  We will certainly disseminate the results of our activities to the broader physics community through presentations at meetings of professional physics educators.”

The NSF is an independent federal agency that was created to promote science and engineering by supporting research and education.  The WSSU grant is being provided through their Targeted Infusion Projects program design to achieve innovation or improvement in the quality of undergraduate STEM education at HBCUs.

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