Northeast Lakeview College is Part of $1M USDA Grant Collaboration to Support Underrepresented STEM students

October 19, 2022

Grant aides Hispanic student learning experiences and research in the agricultural and human science sectors.

 Northeast Lakeview College is proud to announce that it is part of a $1M grant funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a subordinate of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). #EcoJEDI aims to build a city-wide collaboration to facilitate career readiness in food and agriculture sciences (FAS) through science literacy and counter-storytelling. The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) is the lead institution on the grant, with Northeast Lakeview College (NLC) and Our Lady of the Lake (OLLU) sub awardees.


#EcoJEDI will bolster recruitment, graduation, and career readiness in FAS and establish a career pipeline with the USDA by prioritizing the inclusion of historically marginalized, underserved populations through a city-wide collaboration of three Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The research program is a joint interdisciplinary collaboration between UTSA, Northeast Lakeview College and Our Lady of the Lake University. The primary goal of the program is to build an educational pathway beginning in high school and continuing on to higher education.


This investment will help attract, retain and graduate outstanding students from underrepresented communities. “USDA is proud of the achievements and contributions our HSIs have made to American agriculture. They are our trusted partners in preparing the next generation of agriculture leaders that more fully represent the many diverse populations and voices in America,” said Deputy Secretary Bronaugh. “Our nation’s Hispanic-serving Institutions educate more than 3.2 million students every year, and this funding will strengthen their ability to build the workforce of the future.”


Jeffrey Hutchinson, Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology is leading the #EcoJEDI research project as the PI and is joined by UTSA co-PIs Sue Hum, Professor in the Department of English, Vikram Kapoor, Associate Professor in the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Construction Management, and Gwen Young, Associate Professor of instruction in the Department of Integrative Biology. From Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU), the co-PIs are Briana Hauff Salas, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, and Jamie Crosswhite, UTSA alumna and Instructor of Professional Writing and Communication. From Northeast Lakeview College (NLC), the co-PI is Laura Perry, UTSA alumna and Professor of Biology.


“At NLC we are committed to serving all of our students both now and into the future, says Laura Perry, Co-Principal Investigator and NLC project lead. “Our USDA-NIFA #EcoJEDI grant will directly benefit underrepresented minorities in the crucial fields of agricultural, environmental and food sciences.  This opportunity will provide students with research exposure and experience while also focusing on communication in a variety of formats. Our collaborative grant with UTSA and OLLU will provide students with a potential pathway from high school to undergraduate and graduate degree programs."

Read the full USDA Announcement and complete details about the program at The USDA website

About the Funding:

This funding investment is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSI) Education Grants Program. This grant program aligns the efforts of HSIs to support academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups.