Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs

Recent Awards

$1 million Grant to Fund STEM Academic Success

Framingham State University has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to fund a five-year project aimed at increasing the academic success and persistence of first-generation and underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“This is an incredible opportunity for the University to enhance its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” says Framingham State President F. Javier Cevallos. “Science and technology are crucial to the state’s innovation economy, but there is still a large achievement gap for first-generation and minority students training in these important fields. We are truly grateful to the Howard Hughes Institute for awarding us this grant as we seek to take important steps to close that gap.”

Framingham State University is one of just 33 schools across the country to receive a grant from the HHMI Inclusive Excellence initiative this year. Another 24 schools were selected in 2017.

“This initiative is about encouraging colleges and universities to change the way they do business - to become institutions with a significantly greater capacity for inclusion of all students, especially those from nontraditional backgrounds,” says HHMI President Erin O’Shea.

The grant will fund FSU’s Transparent Pathways in STEM project, which aims to redesign academic pathways and curricula in a way that removes obstacles to student success and levels the playing field for all students, particularly those from underrepresented groups.

The project will involve approximately 60 STEM faculty from FSU and MassBay Community College (FSU’s largest feeder school) in an evidence-based intensive faculty development model that will lead to improvements in the individual and collective faculty practice, creating a lasting culture of inclusive excellence in the STEM curriculum and faculty ranks. Most importantly, it will foster and create the faculty leadership that is critical for effecting a sizeable impact to institutional culture.

“This extraordinary opportunity has come about because of the hard work and dedication of so many faculty and staff at FSU,” says Dr. Catherine Dignam, chair of Framingham State’s Chemistry and Food Science Department. “We believe that all students here, regardless of their background, are equally deserving of the highest quality education. This grant will give us the resources to make significant progress toward our goal of closing the achievement gap between students in STEM disciplines.”

“We are very excited to become part of the HHMI higher education community,” added Dr. Margaret Carroll, Dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at FSU. “This grant will allow us to advance our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our STEM programs.”

During two rounds of selection in 2017 and 2018, HHMI received applications from 594 schools, according to the organization’s award announcement. Of these, 140 schools were invited to submit full proposals for plans to develop more inclusive environments for their students. Framingham State is one of just two Massachusetts public colleges to receive the HHMI grant, along with the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Whiting Foundation Funds Faculty Travel

Professor Cynthia Bechtel from FSU’s Nursing Department, Professor Everton Vargas da Costa from the World Languages Department and Professor Megan Lehnerd from the Food & Nutrition Department are all recipients of a 2019 Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship. Dr. Bechtel will use her award to arrange a Cultural, Healthcare & Nursing Journey to Peru in September. Professors Vargas da Costa and Lehnerd intend to travel to Ecuador in May 2020 to develop a Food, Culture & Language course program. In the future, they plan to co-teach the course and lead a trip with students.

$600,000 to Early Start for MetroWest Scholars

Colleen Coffey, Director of FSU’s MetroWest College Planning Collaborative, was the guiding force behind a very generous gift from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation. The award, a total of $600,000 over three years, will fund the MetroWest Scholars Early Start program.

FSU Master’s Recipient to Travel to Bosnia

FSU student Nicholas Ironside has received a prestigious J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship to travel to Bosnia & Herzegovina as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. According to the 12-member Fulbright Board, the grant is a reflection of Ironside's leadership and contributions to society. "Fulbright is the world's largest and most diverse international educational exchange program," the award letter states. "As a grantee, you will join the ranks of distinguished participants in the program. Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers. They include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 72 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors."

Early College Program Receives $30,000

FSU’s College Planning Collaborative has been awarded an FY19 Early College Technical Support grant in the amount of $30,000. The fund will be used to develop an Early College program to strengthen career education for high school students.

Danforth Art Renovations Funded

FSU’s Danforth Art continues to receive the support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Most recently, the Cultural Council contributed $11,400 for renovations to the Maynard Building.

Award Will Help FSU Students with “Suitable Solutions”

Robert P. Lamprey, chairman of the MutualOne Charitable Foundation, has announce that the Foundation has awarded $6,555 to support the Suitable Solutions Program at Framingham State University. This grant will enable 25 Suitable Solutions’ students to develop professional skills, build their network and receive professional attire. The program is run through the Office of Career Services and Employer Relations.

Award will provide capital purchases for the MetroWest College Planning Collaborative

FSU is once again the recipient of the generosity of the Sudbury Foundation’s Small Capital Grants Program. The $5,000 award will fund furniture, computers and a printer for a remote college access and success coaching suite.   This suite will provide private space for our College Planning Collaborative success advisors at MassBay to advise and develop a cohort of 82 freshman students who will successfully persist and complete their studies at MassBay, enabling them to transfer into a four-year institution and complete a four year degree.

Gifts to Fund Office of Diversity and Inclusion, College Planning Collaborative

FSU is grateful for the continued generosity of The Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation. The Foundation is funding several projects this year including campus internships and fellowships in computer science and the office of Diversity and Inclusion, as well as support for the College Planning Collaborative and the 100 Males to College program. Gifts this year will total $191,000.

Award to Support Postsecondary Education for Current and Former Inmates

Framingham State University has joined a new consortium of colleges in Massachusetts that will support expanding access to postsecondary education to people currently and formerly in prison statewide. The consortium was established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with help from a $250,000 grant from the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), along with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The consortium, led by a team within the MIT Experimental Study Group, will be tasked with expanding access to postsecondary education by establishing and sustaining an education pipeline at each of Massachusetts’ prisons. Framingham State already has established partnerships with MCI-Framingham and Middlesex Jail and House of Corrections in Billerica through its Inside-out program, which sends FSU students into the prisons to take classes alongside current inmates. 

Award Supports Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

FSU has been awarded a continuation grant from the Massachusetts Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative, sponsored by the Department of Higher Education, in the amount of $84,715.00.  This program provides academic, social and career development opportunities for young adults with intellectual disabilities.

Continued Support for 100 Males to College

The Department of Higher Education has awarded a continuation grant in the amount of $80,000 to FSU’s MetroWest College Planning Collaborative for its “100 Males to College” program. The program focuses on improving college access, college participation, and college completion success rates for high school males in the MetroWest region.

Adventures in LifeLong Learning Program Honored

FSU’s Adventures in LifeLong Learning program was honored with a grant from the Framingham Cultural Council at an awards ceremony at the Framingham Public Library. Adventures in Lifelong Learning is a series of free classes for older adults that offers exciting programming, academic enrichment, and intellectual and social stimulation. Classes in art, literature, history, politics, music appreciation, film, movement, nutrition, and health education are taught by FSU faculty and local experts.

McAuliffe Center Receives Awards to Engage Students in ISS Mission Experiences, and Host Professional Development in Computer Literacy

The McAuliffe Center has partnered with NASA contractor CASIS (the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) to offer simulated International Space Station (ISS) missions and ISS-focused planetarium programs to out-of-school time groups, high school classes, and schools from underserved communities. CASIS’ role as managers of the National Science Laboratory on board the ISS allows the Center unprecedented access to rare ISS resources, which will significantly enrich the Center’s Challenger Learning Center mission simulation program. Partial funding from CASIS will also allow the creation of a new interactive ISS exhibit in the lobby of the McAuliffe Center.

The Educational Development Center (EDC) has partnered with the McAuliffe Center to further advance the goals of the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network (MassCAN), with the goal of expanding computer literacy. MassCAN seeks to inform and inspire educators, administrators, parents, and students about the employment opportunities available in technology fields across all industries. The partnership provides sponsorship for middle school initiatives through Vertex Pharmaceuticals, while the National Science Foundation (NSF) funds efforts at the high school level. The McAuliffe Center will serve as a hub for the recruitment of teachers for enrollment in computer science-related professional development opportunities, taught by expert CS instructors.

FSU partners with Boston Children’s Hospital to conduct the Framingham State Food Study

Framingham State University and world-renowned Boston Children’s Hospital embark on a unique new partnership to conduct a state-of-the-art food study, “Dietary Composition and Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance.” Funded by Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), the study promises to provide fundamental knowledge about how to design more effective approaches to the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Studies have found that many overweight and obese people can lose weight for a few months, but most have difficulty maintaining weight loss over the long-term. One explanation for the poor long-term outcome of conventional diets is that weight loss causes biological adaptations that promote weight re-gain. This partnership will conduct research over the period of three full academic years and will focus on dietary effects on insulin resistance, cortisol excretion, and other chronic disease risk factors to yield definitive results supporting prior study’s findings.

College Planning Center Receives Sudbury Foundation Grant Award

In partnership with MassBay Community College, Framingham State University has received a generous grant from the Sudbury Foundation to fund the development of a strategic marketing plan for the new MetroWest College Planning Center (CPC) and to evaluate the program after one year. The mission of the CPC is to provide the necessary outreach, training, and advising to connect with youth in the region, guide them on their desired educational course, and help them develop specialization for skills training at the community college level, or to acquire an associate’s degree, Mass. Transfer, or completion of a four-year degree. With the support of the Sudbury Foundation, the CPC will be able to create an effective strategic business plan for long-term success and sustainability of the project. They will establish a detailed, comprehensive marketing strategy for at-risk youth, under-represented minorities, and first-generation college students. After one year they will produce an evaluation of the program to ensure measurable impact and the ability to make adjustments if projected outcomes are not achieved.

NEH/ALA Grant Will Celebrate 500 Years of Latino American History

Framingham State University has been selected to receive a competitive Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA). With the award, FSU will hold public programming about Latino history and culture. FSU will also receive the six-part, NEH-supported documentary film “Latino Americans,” the award-winning series which chronicles the history of Latinos in the United States. Events will include:

  • A reading at the Framingham Public Library of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, by author, Jennifer De Leon.
  • A student visit to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.
  • Screenings of two episodes of “Latino Americans,” followed by scholar-led discussions.
  • A reception in celebration of the grant on October 9, at FSU’s The Whittemore Library. Mario Quiroz’s photographic exhibition on Latin American immigration to the U.S. will be on display, and a Latino acoustic performance by singer and musician Maura Mendoza will accompany the exhibit.

Dr. Emmanouil Apostolidis Receives Funding from NSRDEC

U.S. Army Natick Labs (NSRDEC) has awarded Dr. Emmanouil Apostolidis of the Chemistry and Food Science Department a research award for a project titled “Determination of blueberry and cocoa phenolic bioactive fractions for glucose uptake regulation.” The goal of Dr. Apostolidis’ proposed study is to assess the potential of blueberry and cocoa phenolic constituents for Type-2 Diabetes management via the inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolysis enzymes. A series of two in-vitro experiments are proposed to investigate the effect of blueberry and cocoa extracts to define the most bioactive phytochemical fractions. Dr. Apostolidis received the undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

EPIC Partnership Innovation Grant Award

Framingham State University (FSU), in partnership with The Education Collaborative (TEC), has been awarded an EPIC Partnership Innovation Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) for $47,520. FSU will work with TEC and its member districts to facilitate collaboration to improve educator effectiveness, including support for pre-service teachers, the teachers as supervising practitioners, and first-year mentors along with strengthening the pre-practicum and practicum placement through collaboration. The Epic Partnership Innovation Grant is a competitive grant opportunity to support new or existing partnerships between educator preparation organizations and school districts to improve the pipeline of teachers entering into a district. FSU and TEC will cultivate innovative partnership models in order to ensure all students in the Commonwealth have access to high-quality teachers.

Dr. Bryan Connolly receives funding from DFW

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) awarded Dr. Bryan Connolly of the Biology Department the Crocanthemum dumosum Bushy Rockrose Genetics Grant. The grant includes a sub-contract between Framingham State University and Stevenson University (SU) and will take place from June 2017 through June 2018. The goal of Dr. Connolly’s work is to further understand the relationship of Crocanthemum dumosum and Crocanthemum canadense plants. Dr. Connolly will identify, collect, and voucher the plants. Dr. Connolly received his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont and his graduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on the taxonomy of the Rose family, pollination, invasive plants, and the flora of New England.

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s 2016 Competitive Capital Program Award

Framingham State University received $454,000 from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s (MLSC) 2016 Competitive Capital Program to aid the construction of the new addition to Hemenway Hall and the conversion and enhancement of former laboratories. FSU requested supplemental funding from MLSC to permit completion of the Hemenway Hall project as originally intended. The program is designed to help fund high potential economic development projects that promise to make a significant contribution to the state’s life sciences ecosystem. The new STEM facilities will support the increasing STEM-focused student population and the MetroWest region by supporting workforce development, training, and research in life sciences.

Framingham State University Suicide Prevention Task Force receives funding from MWHF

The MetroWest Health Foundation (MWHF) funded the Framingham State University (FSU) Suicide Prevention Task Force $9,100. The goal of the funding is to offer a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Skills Group at the FSU Counseling Center. At least five clinicians will participate in training and consultations as well as purchasing materials to supplement the training. DBT is an evidence-based treatment used extensively in inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment settings and will further strengthen suicide prevention efforts at FSU. The FSU Suicide Prevention Task Force is a multi-department initiative whose mission is to promote awareness and understanding of mental health issues, increase knowledge about warning signs, foster help-seeking behaviors, and facilitate the adoption of community-based initiatives to reduce and prevent suicide on the FSU campus.

Patricia Bossange

Acting Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs

Office: Grants and Sponsored Programs
Phone Number: 508-626-4996

100 State St.
PO Box 9101
Framingham, MA 01701-9101