A new initiative from Johns Hopkins University is aiming to strengthen the school’s research relationships with historically black colleges and universities, and attract more HBCU students to Hopkins’ graduate-level programs.
Darlene Saporu, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering, is spearheading the new GradPath Collaborative initiative. She said she developed the concept after noticing an apparent “void” of strong relationships between the school and HBCUs, especially when it comes to research. Although Hopkins researchers have worked on a handful of projects with faculty from institutions like Morgan State University, she thought there must be opportunity for much more substantial and deliberate collaborations. Saprou also recognized an opportunity to increase recruitment of HBCU bachelor’s degree holders to Hopkins’ grad programs.
“We don’t get a lot of students in our doctoral programs that come from HBCUs. And even though we have schools like Morgan right in our backyard, I’ve noticed we don’t really have strong institutional relationships with HBCUs,” Saprou said.