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Morehead Planetarium and Science Center partners with GlaxoSmithKline to bring hands-on science to NC boys and girls clubs

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is partnering with global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline to bring hands-on science to boys and girls clubs throughout North Carolina with a program called “Science on Your Street.”

The program aims to engage more students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics using a mobile vehicle that will spend a week at 10 different boys and girls clubs throughout the state. The vehicle made its first visit Tuesday at Brentwood Boys and Girls Club in downtown Raleigh.

“Morehead Planetarium is pleased to partner with the ‘Science On Your Street’ mobile program, which will have a statewide impact on North Carolina communities, families, schools and children through its innovative and interactive science,” said Crystal Harden, Morehead’s director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives, in a statement. “Our goal and purpose is to inspire and engage children of ages, as well as their families and communities, in science and engineering technology.”

GSK’s “Science On Your Street” initiative is part of a series of free science programming that began with GSK Science in the Summer, which educates thousands of students each summer with free week-long sessions for second to eighth grade students.

UNC-Asheville Chancellor Steps Down 

UNC-Asheville Chancellor Mary Grant announced on Sept. 13 she will step down at the end of the 2017.

Grant accepted a new job as as president of Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. 

Kennon Briggs, UNC-A Board of Trustees chairperson, said in the announcement that Grant put students at the center of all the university did. 

“Throughout Chancellor Grant’s tenure, she has reminded us that leadership happens at every level of the university,” he said. “It is required of all of us during our time here that we must take that responsibility seriously, and continue to give our best efforts to ensure student success, to sustain the momentum, and to continue working hard to maintain UNC-Asheville’s standing as one of the best public liberal arts universities in the country.

UNC system President Margaret Spellings said in a statement it has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with Grant. 

“This is no doubt a loss for UNC-Asheville and the University of North Carolina System, but we can all agree that North Carolina — and particularly the west — is a better place because of Chancellor Grant’s leadership,” she said. “Congratulations to Mary and we look forward to hearing about her continued success in Boston.” 

WSSU launches economic mobility research center supported by $3 million grant

Winston Salem-State University announced on Sept. 7 it has received a $3 million grant to build a new center to study barriers to economic mobility in East Winston Salem and Forsyth County.

The WSSU Center for the Study of Economic Mobility will serve to accommodate faculty research, undergraduate student research scholarship and community outreach, according to a university press release. The grant comes from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Center for Advancing Opportunity.

According to the statement, children from low-income families in Forsyth County are less likely to move up the income ladder as adults compared to children almost anywhere else in the United States, according to a study by economist Raj Chetty. 

“It is crucial to understand just what is holding broad-based development and upward mobility back and how that might be changed at the local level,” said WSSU Economics Professor Craig Richardson, who will serve as CSEM’s founding director, in a statement. “The goal is basically to better understand how to remove barriers to economic and social development across the board.”

WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson said in the statement that as a historically black university with a long history in the community, WSSU has long been an opportunity gateway for residents in the area. WSSU ranks among the top universities in the nation for improving the social mobility of its graduates, he said.

“Central to our mission is empowering communities to directly participate in identifying and studying the challenges most significant to them and finding research-based answers to these challenges,” said Jennifer Wider, CAO executive director. “We are thrilled to support WSSU and their scholars’ endeavors in this research.”



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