UNC Receives Grants to Address Teacher Shortage

The Colorado Department of Higher Education has awarded nearly $2 million to 17 collaborative projects throughout Colorado to recruit and retain more educators as part of the Plan Into Action Grant established earlier this year. Two programs at UNC were awarded two separate grants by the CDHE to address teacher shortages: The Center for Urban Education (CUE) Lowry Campus received a $125,000 grant known as the “Growing Our Own for Urban Classrooms: The Paraprofessional-to-Teachers Pipeline” project to recruit, develop and retain a diverse teacher corps. (For more on the CUE, turn to page 26.) The Aspiring Teachers Program received a $120,324 grant with the goal of making teaching careers more accessible to rural high school students through concurrent enrollment.

Taking a Close Look at Eye Development

UNC Assistant Professor of Biology Andrea James, Ph.D., received the Knights Templar Eye Foundation Career Starter Grant to fund her research for one year with the option to renew. The $65,000 grant will help fund her research on zebrafish eye development (specifically during choroid fissure closure), and will also go toward undergraduate researchers in her lab and other areas. She hopes her research can provide insights on human eye development and abnormalities with the goal of eventually eliminating blindness in young children.