Voorhees awarded grant money from NNSA

October 14, 2012


Voorhees College is one of 22 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) awarded $4 million in grants for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Additionally, Voorhees College leads cyber security consortium with NNSA’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for collaboration on research.

Along with the 22 HBCUS, six Department of Energy (DOE) sites in key STEM areas were also awarded money with the grant. The funding launches NNSA’s new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program (MSIPP), a consortium program organized to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between DOE plants and laboratories and HBCUs.

The MSIPP is designed to enrich the STEM capabilities of HBCUs in a sustainable manner that aligns with the broad interests of DOE sites and emphasizes the entire career pipeline. The partnership also provides STEM students with the cutting edge resources and technology housed at DOE facilities, ultimately increasing STEM student retention. 

“Hands-on participation in research is imperative for students in the STEM field,” said Dimitri Kusnezov, NNSA’s chief scientist. “The MSIPP will provide an opportunity for students to be exposed to state-of-the-art facilities and research, creating an opportunity to expand their knowledge and further prepare them for a career in STEM fields.”

To achieve MSIPP’s goal, teams consisting of participants from select HBCUs and DOE plants and laboratories were developed. These teams bring together HBCUs that share similar interests in STEM research areas with the facilities and technology available at DOE’s plants and laboratories.

The areas of research that Voorhees will participate in are Malware Intelligence Harvesting for Greater Cyber Defense and Addressing the Shortage of Quality Cyber security Workers in the United States. Additional HBCUs in South Carolina apart of the grant are Allen University and Benedict College.

“Receiving this grant is a great accomplishment for not only Voorhees College but for HBCUs,” said Timothy Kentopp, grant principal investigator. “It is important that our institutions continue its efforts in STEM research.”

Other HBCUs are Clark Atlanta University, North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, Southern University of New Orleans, Alabama A&M University, University of District of Columbia, Prairie View A&M University, Morehouse College, Southern A&M University, Tennessee State University, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Bowie State University, University of the Virgin Islands, Tuskegee University, Florida A&M University, Fisk University, Alcorn State University, Southern University of Baton Rouge and Delaware State University.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, effectiveness and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

For more information, please contact Teesa Brunson, director of communications, at 803-780-1194 or at