Kentucky State University (KSU) received four grants in July, totaling more than $1.5 million.

Funds were granted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Division of Minority Health, the National Transportation Cabinet, the University of Kentucky Research Foundation, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The largest grant is $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Division of Minority Health. The funds will be used to implement a project to reduce violence among racial and ethnic disadvantaged at-risk youth ages 12 through 17 in Franklin County, Kentucky.

The project, entitled “Please Call Me Mister”, will serve 125 African-American and Hispanic males who have directly experienced violence or directly observed interpersonal violence and/or violence in their immediate community.

The author of the grant is Dr. Herman Walston, professor of child development and family relations at Kentucky State.

“The impact of youth violence can be felt beyond an individual, affecting families, friends and communities,” Walston said. “Beyond public safety, youth violence increases health costs, increases costs in the social services and justice systems, reduces economic productivity, and perpetuates the cycle of poverty as education and employment decline.”

The second largest grant is $113,451, from the National Transportation Cabinet, and will fund the National Summer Transportation Institute. The principal investigator of the grant is Travella Free in the College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems department of Land Grant and Extension.

“KSU will address the need for exposure to careers currently available and forthcoming in the transportation industry,” Derrick Gilmore, director of Office Research, Grants, and Sponsored Programs at Kentucky State, said. “The three-week, residential format will offer sustained reinforcement of academic excellence and career preparation skills.”

The grant was awarded to KSU in the same amount during the same time period last year.

The University of Kentucky Research Foundation awarded KSU $77,817 for the Kentucky – West Virginia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (KY-WV LSAMP). The principal investigator of the grant is Kazi Javed, Ph.D. in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Mathematics and Physics. KSU was awarded the same grant last year.

“The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation is designed to diversify the nation’s STEM workforce by increasing the number of STEM baccalaureate and graduate degrees for underrepresented minorities,” Gilmore said.

Finally, the B.R.E.D. Scholars Program was awarded $31,021 by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The principal investigator of the grant is T’Ebony Torain in the Academic Affairs Department of Student Support Services.

“B.R.E.D. Scholars will serve 15 students in grades 6th-8th at the three public middle schools in Frankfort/Franklin County, Kentucky,” Gilmore said. “The schools are Bondurant Middle, Elkhorn Middle and Second Street Middle School. The goal of the program is to increase the number of minority and at risk students to decrease disparities in educational attainment in STEM.”

The three awards total $1.5 million. In comparison, the University received a total of seven awards in July 2016 for a total of $1,391,972.