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Graduate Public Health Program Awarded First National Science Foundation Research (NSF) Grant for COVID-19

On behalf of Dean Ruby Perry, please congratulate the Department of Graduate Public Health (DGPH) on their recent accomplishment of receiving their first National Science Foundation Research grant award for COVID-19.

The Department of Graduate Public Health has received its first National Science Foundation Research (NSF) grant to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant is for one year with a budget of $199,479. Atty. Crystal James, department head for the DGPH, will serve as PI and Dr. Melvena Wilson will serve as Program Director for this initiative. Atty. James also serves as one of the co-chairs in the Community Health Task Force which was started by Dr. Perry while she served as acting president for the university during Dr. McNair’s sick leave. Dr. Kimberly Scott, Vice President for Student Affairs, also serves as the co-chair for the Community Health Task Force. Dr. Wilson is an assistant professor in the college’s DGPH and co-chair for the college’s newly formed Public Health Advisory Committee (PHAC) also initiated by Dean Perry.

An excerpt from the public abstract describing the grant is below:
The objective of this proposal is to determine the best ways of disseminating disease prevention messages to minority communities, specifically Rural African Americans and other vulnerable populations. The central hypothesis is that minorities have mistrust and concerns regarding trustworthiness that therefore often delay innovators to disease prevention methods. Thus, magnifying and/or delaying efforts to reduce and forestall increase morbidity and mortality among the study population. The research is non-clinical in nature and involves a large- scale multi-state data collection using a newly constructed instrument to assess residents’ level of trust and fear related to disease transmission and where and how they prefer to receive information regarding prevention and treatment strategies. The project will provide health organizations with unique, data on how minority communities access and attend to disease prevention messages and pandemic outbreaks.

About The Graduate Public Health Program at Tuskegee University

The Graduate Public Health Program in the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine is uniquely positioned and aligned to the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the nation with a prestigious veterinary training program. The Graduate Public Health Program was initiated in August 2011. It was entrusted with the rights, privileges and status to offer the Master of Public Health (MPH) and the Master of Science in Public Health (MPH) degrees. The program has been assisting to meet the urgent need for more public health professionals nationally and internationally, given the numerous public health concerns that continuously arise due to communicable and non-communicable diseases, health conditions and co-morbidities, environmental challenges and disaster threats. To learn more, go to