N.D. EPSCoR announces $1 million award for North Dakota tribal colleges

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University of North Dakota


The North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR)announces a $1 million, two-year National Science Foundation (NSF) award to the state's tribal colleges for connectivity improvements.

The award, titled, "ND Tribal College Cyber Connectivity (C-2) Investments to Enhance Integrated Education, Research and Workforce Opportunities," allots about $225,000 to each of four tribal colleges to invest in hardware, software, and personnel to improve network connectivity benefiting both research and education.

"This is an exciting grant," said Dr. Mark Hoffmann, associate vice president for research capacity building at the University of North Dakota and ND EPSCoR co-project director. "It will provide new opportunities for research not only for students and faculty at the Tribally Controlled Colleges (TCCs) of the state, but for researchers at UND and North Dakota State University (NDSU) who would like to collaborate with their counterparts at the tribal colleges."

"Research in education has shown that engaging students in research early in their college studies usually has a profound effect on their chances for success in the classroom," said Hoffmann, who also is Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at UND. "We are very pleased that this grant will provide new research opportunities and increase the likelihood of student success at the the TCCs."

The ND C-2 consortium, comprising four tribal colleges—Cankdeska Cikana Community Collegein Fort Totten, Fort Berthold Community Collegein New Town, Turtle Mountain Community Collegein Belcourt, and United Tribes Technical Collegein Bismarck—and UND and NDSU, will make significant upgrades to tribal college cyber-infrastructure.

This project will help improve tribal colleges networking with various organizations in the state, the nation and throughout the world. It also will serve faculty, students and the surrounding community and elevate opportunities across many economic, and intellectual and workforce development activities.

This investment in hardware and connectivity will have a pronounced impact on the education of American Indian students and their ability to move ahead in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.

"The C-2 investment will also provide the region, the nation and the world an opportunity to learn from indigenous traditions," Hoffmann said.