The National Science Foundation recently awarded Delaware State University a five-year, $1.8 million HBCU-UP grant in support of the university’s Transforming Education through Active Learning initiative.

TEAL will transform first- and second-year laboratory courses by introducing students to research through authentic inquiry activities. The grant will help fund the redesign of traditional laboratory exercises to connect the research to real-world problems.

The student success initiative includes the development of a peer teaching and learning model to develop the leadership skills of advanced students to help prepare them for graduate school or employment. The initiative also seeks to bridge the gap of understanding between DSU and potential employers through the development of partnerships and internship opportunities.

The original principal investigator of the grant was Clytrice Watson, who was formerly the interim dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Technology. Because she recently assumed a temporary position at the NSF, the new interim dean, Charlie Wilson, chair of the department of Biological Sciences, has taken over as the principal investigator. Wilson also assumed the college’s interim dean post in Watson’s absence.

Key individuals in the TEAL initiative are Anthea Aikins, assistant professor of biological sciences; Cherese Winstead-Casson, chair of the Department of Chemistry; Gwendolyn Scott-Jones, chair of the Department of Psychology; Venu Kalavacharla, professor of ag and natural resources; Marcel Poe, director of the CMNST Advisement Center; Delayne Johnson, assistant professor of mathematics; Bill Means, director of the Career Center; and Kylie Parrotta, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice.