Organization gives money for research

The Florida A&M homecoming game not only yielded a victory on the field, but it was also a winning opportunity for the university.

During halftime, FAMU was awarded a grant by the Office of the Director of the National Intelligence Community. President James Ammons was presented with a check of $2.5 million to be used over five years.

Lenora Peters Gant, a 1978 graduate of the School of Business and Industry, presented Ammons the check. Gant is the director of the Intelligence Community Center Academic Excellence and Program Office.

FAMU is the 22nd institution of higher learning to receive such a distinction.

The principal goal of the Center on FAMU’s campus will be to encourage faculty-led student research on national security issues. It will be a multidisciplinary research, instructional and pre-college school outreach unit aimed at increasing the pool of talented young men and women. The primary focus will be preparing minorities and women for recruitment by Intelligence Community agencies.

Keith Simmonds, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of public administration and political science, will serve as principal investigator. Simmonds thinks this is a wonderful opportunity to diversify the intelligence community.

“For the first time in a significant way, we are enabling our minorities and women to prepare to come to the decision-making table where decisions on national security and international relations are made,” Simmonds said. “We are contributing to the diversity that this nation seeks and needs on such a major national matter.

This grant really establishes a direct pathway to this very important table.”