Monday, May 27, 2024

Louisiana Higher Ed: Federal funds for Northwestern, Grambling; Pennington earns health award

by BIZ Magazine

The Louisiana Illuminator reporter Piper Hutchinson takes a weekly look at news from universities and colleges around the state.

Feds fund business incubator in Natchitoches 

Northwestern State University received $2.1 million in federal funds to facilitate the development of the NSU Entrepreneurial Innovation Center, which will serve as an incubator for Northwest Louisiana business. 

Once completed, the university projects the center will have an economic impact of $3 million annually. 

“We expect the Innovation Center to become a hub to provide resources to aspiring business owners, connect students with business and industry partners and create a co-working multipurpose space where creative ideas come to life,” NSU President Marcus Jones said.  

Broadband investment 

Grambling State University received a $2.2 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration which will be used to upgrade infrastructure and access points for campus WiFi. 

Students who live in areas with poor internet access will also be eligible to receive free hot spots and a monthly service plan. 

The university also plans to use the money to train students in cybersecurity and telemedicine. 

Pennington professor awarded 

Robert Newton, head of the Physical Activity and Ethnic Minority Health Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, received a Google Health Equity Research Initiative award for his work on how physical activity impacts health in rural Black communities. 

The award comes with funding, Google services, and FitBit devices and services. 

“African Americans and rural residents have low levels of physical activity, which increases their risk of developing chronic disease,” Newton said. “This study targets two health disparity populations: African Americans and individuals living in rural environments. With the funding from Google, we will be able to assess the effect of emerging technology to promote physical activity in these populations.”

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