Claremont Colleges Receive $3.6 Million to Spur Life Science Leaders

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded $3.6 million to The Claremont Colleges to support efforts that prepare undergraduates to become leaders in science research and medicine.

The five undergraduate colleges (5Cs)—Scripps, Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, and Pomona—will use the grant to instill quantitative and computational approaches in their life science courses. While each school has its own emphasis and strengths, together they form a complementary group of adjoining campuses with a combined population of 650 faculty and more than 5,000 undergraduates.

The award comes at a unique time in the 5Cs’ history. The life science programs at all five of the undergraduate Claremont Colleges have expanded considerably in the past 20 years, and with a shared academic schedule and a strong tradition of crossregistration, the schools now stand ready to build new, substantive, and synergistic collaborations across their institutions.

“Our science departments have a long history of interaction, and this funding allows us to truly integrate our efforts,” said David Hansen, Weinberg Family Dean of Science, W.M. Keck Science Department of Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, and Scripps College. “I am most excited about new initiatives for the support of students from groups traditionally underrepresented in science.”

The HHMI funding will allow The Claremont Colleges to fulfill a five-point strategy:

  • New courses and laboratories
  • Summer research fellowships
  • Academic support
  • Peer community and professional development for underrepresented students
  • K–12 outreach

All five initiatives will be assessed, in collaboration with outside assessment experts, against the unifying goal of preparing 5C undergraduates to become leaders in science research and medicine.


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