FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 8, 2012
By Katherine H. Crawford, Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—For the sixth consecutive year, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) earned recognition for its outstanding support of historically black colleges and universities and minority institutions (HBCU/MI), officials announced Aug. 8.
In its annual issue naming “Top Supporters of the HBCU Engineering Schools,” U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine highlighted ONR based on inputs from engineering deans at 14 institutions certified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
“ONR is responsible for coordinating science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] research and education programs across the Department of the Navy, and our organization has a tradition of focusing these activities on a diverse audience,” said Dr. Anthony Junior, director, Department of the Navy HBCU/MI Program office. “Our outreach to these communities ensures that we’re drawing on the largest talent pool possible for future naval scientists and engineers.”
The yearly list draws attention to the important role HBCUs play in preparing members of the nation’s future workforce, while highlighting the need for more companies to partner with and support HBCUs to help fill the professional pipeline, particularly in STEM fields.
In the survey, deans evaluated the level of corporate, nonprofit and government sponsorship for infrastructure modernization and enhancement; research and mentorship projects; participation on advisory councils; faculty development opportunities; scholarships; student projects; stipends; cooperative education programs; and career opportunities.
ONR began funding research at HBCUs in 1985; four years later, it created a program focused on supporting undergraduate and graduate students at five HBCU/MIs. This program grew to support STEM education programs at 22 such institutions, supporting hundreds of students through an average investment of $20 million per year. Of these students, 90 percent graduated on time with degrees in science and engineering, and 80 percent went on to receive master’s degrees. ONR continues to aggressively support research and education programs at HBCUs today.
Support to HBCU/MIs is just one component of ONR’s education and outreach program, which aims to inspire and motivate students of all ages to pursue STEM education and careers. ONR’s investment includes sponsorship of and participation in science fairs, college internships, graduate fellowships and curricular enrichment programs, robotics competitions, and exhibits at events across the nation.
ONR places a great value on diversity outreach initiatives. Recently, the organization also was named “best diversity company” for a fifth consecutive year by Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology magazine. ONR was recognized for its continued commitment to promoting workplace diversity in the magazine’s its sixth annual readers’ choice survey, Best Companies for Diversity.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 30 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and more than 900 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,065 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.