Posted on October 2, 2003
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that Tennessee State University (TSU) in Nashville received nearly $1 million from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to increase the number of minority students in science and engineering. "Diversity is critical to fostering innovation and exchanging ideas — both of which are central to advancements in science," said Frist. "I applaud TSU for taking a leadership role in developing programs that encourage broader interest in NASA and engineering specialties." "Tennessee State University has led the way in securing competitive grants for scientific research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities," said Alexander. "This funding is another important investment that will mean better science programs for TSU." TSU will use the $959,680 in funding to create scholarships and summer research internships to prepare students for technical careers in NASA mission areas. The goal is to increase the number of high-performing students from populations underrepresented in science and engineering. The students have graduated from major research universities in disciplines aligned with NASA's mission. NASA's Minority University Research and Education Programs (MUREP) awarded this funding to TSU. MUREP awards grants exclusively to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities to expand and advance NASA's scientific and technological base. TSU is committed to pure and applied research and provides its students with opportunities for involvement in research activities. Originally founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is an HBCU. Frist previously chaired the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, which has jurisdiction over NASA.