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April 22 – 23, 2021 from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm!

Join us for our 2nd annual Breaking Barriers Grants Writing Workshop featuring President Aaron A. Walton, of Cheyney University, who will present on the University’s new transformation model that placed the institution on a sustainable pathway. Workshop sessions will be facilitated by Dr. Bonnie Green and Dr. Eric Sheppard of the National Science Foundation (NSF) as we share some solutions for supporting faculty of color in the grant writing process!

Session One
Thursday, April 22nd, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
– IUSE Grant – Institutional and Community Transformation Track
– HBCU UP Program Officers

Session Two
Friday, April 23rd, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
– Grant Writing Panel Interview (Panelists below)
– NSF Mock Interview with Program Officers

Meet the Panelists

Dr. Jillian L. Wendt

Dr. Jillian L. Wendt is Associate Professor of Science Education at the University of the District of Columbia. She has worked in the field of education as a K-12 science educator, curriculum specialist, and university professor for almost two decades. Dr. Wendt’s research interests include teacher preparation, science and STEM education, and online learning. Her most recent work has explored online peer mentoring to support women’s persistence in STEM and development of STEM identity. She served as PI on a National Science Foundation (NSF) HBCU-UP Broadening Participation Research project (Award #1717082) that explored the impact of a virtual peer mentoring program and related peer mentor training. She currently serves as PI on another NSF HBCU-UP Broadening Participation Research project (Award #1912205) that extends the findings of the previous pilot and explores the impact of virtual peer mentor and mentee training. The projects have resulted in several presentations and publications, including a co-authored and co-edited book that was informed by the findings, Navigating the Peer Mentoring Relationship: A Handbook for Women and Other Underrepresented Populations in STEM, and a recent American Educational Research Association (AERA) Mentoring and Mentorship SIG Distinguished Paper Award.

Outside of her role as an academic, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and two cats, playing the piano, reading, crafting, indoor cycling, and exploring the outdoors.


Dr. M. Ani Hsieh

M. Ani Hsieh is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is also the Deputy Director of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Laboratory.  Her research interests lie at the intersection of robotics, multi-agent systems, and dynamical systems theory.  Hsieh and her team design algorithms for estimation, control, and planning for multi-agent robotic systems with applications in environmental monitoring, estimation and prediction of complex dynamics, and design of collective behaviors.  She received her B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.  Prior to Penn, she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics at Drexel University.  Hsieh is the recipient of a 2012 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award and a 2013 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.


Dr. Vivian Olivia Jones

Dr. Vivian O. Jones serves as Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Business Administration at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL. and is also an Assistant Professor of Education at Liberty University Online. She has experience teaching in the face-to-face environment, distance learning environment and k-12 mathematics education. Dr. Jones holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Florida (1997), M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Troy University (2002) and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from The Florida State University (2006).

Dr. Jones is the Co-PI of an HBCU-UP NSF grant (Award #1912205); a virtual (STEM) peer mentorship program for underrepresented women and racial and ethnic minority (UMW) undergraduate students. The overarching goal is to broaden the participation of UMW in STEM fields. In this project, women and racial and ethnic minority graduate students are using a systematic process to mentor a group of STEM undergraduate students in a virtual environment. She is also a member of the HBCU-C2 Apple Coding Project that is a collaboration with Tennessee State University and other HBCUs around the country to introduce a coding course to students on our campuses using the Apple Lab and their products.

Dr. Jones stays abreast of current research by serving as a dissertation chair for doctoral students at Liberty University and serving her academic community as the Program Director for Math Specialists at Liberty University. Her research interests and efforts are concentrated in the STEM fields, mathematics anxiety, and minority women.


Dr. Steven G. Hughes

Dr. Steven G. Hughes is Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences and Director of the Aquaculture Research and Education Lab (AREL) at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. AREL maintains a strategic relationship with Herban Farms that distributes and markets the basil and tilapia grown on campus to neighboring supermarkets in the counties surrounding Cheyney, PA. For more than three decades, his research and teaching interests have been focused on fish physiology, wildlife and agriculture urban development at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has worked closely with both the state of Maryland and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to investigate and provide solutions for aquaculture agribusiness ventures. Dr. Hughes continues to serve on different advisory boards lending his experience and leadership in applied animal and human nutrition/physiology research, aquaculture research, and research administration. His professional development activities have resulted in grant funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and the PA Department of Health, along with being requested to assist start up an international aquaculture program with Oboseke University to assist in capitalizing on the fisheries industry in Ghana.


Dr. Eric Fouh

Dr. Eric Fouh earned Ph.D. in Computer Science at Virginia Tech, and his M.A and B.A. in Computer Science at University of Picardie Jules Verne in France. He is a member of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). He has published his work in the ACM conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (ITiCSE), Computers in Human Behavior, Science of Computer Programming, and the ACM Journal of Data and Information Quality. Read more about his research work and findings at Dr. Fouh currently teaches in the Computer Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania.



Spring 2021 Breaking Barriers Agenda