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University Receives HHMI Award
July 22, 2010

Virginia Tech was among 50 top research universities nationwide to receive a Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) that will be used to encourage university faculty to develop new ways to teach and inspire undergraduate students about science and research.

The $1.4 million award given to Virginia Tech, the university’s first HHMI education award, was among $70 million in grants given by Howard Hughes Medical Institute this summer. HHMI invited 197 research-focused universities to apply for the science education grants.

Under the leadership of Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel Wubah, Virginia Tech is developing a “scieneering” minor that will unite all sciences with engineering. Students who pursue the minor will take courses in departments outside their major and participate in seminars exploring topics at the interface of science and engineering.

The scieneering program is Virginia Tech’s first step toward developing an interdisciplinary undergraduate biomedical engineering program, building on a successful biomedical engineering graduate program already on campus.

HHMI, the nation’s largest private funder of science education, has spent $1.6 billion since 1985 to reform life sciences education from elementary through graduate school. The Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program allow large research universities to tackle projects that affect hundreds or even thousands of students, both inside the university and at local K-12 schools.

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