The UT Alliance of Women Philanthropists announced its 2013 Giving Circle Grants recipients at the Fifth Annual Women and Philanthropy Symposium on Friday, February 22nd in Knoxville, TN.
The Alliance’s executive board created the Giving Circle grants program in 2007 to increase their direct involvement with the University of Tennessee’s students and faculty. As part of their mission to educate, empower, and inspire women to be philanthropic leaders, the organization set out to fund innovative projects and programs that focus on issues important to women. The grants program is funded through personal donations from the Alliance’s twenty member board. To date, the Alliance has contributed $287,000 in support of 28 projects.
This year the Alliance voted to allocate $48,000 in support of four projects submitted by UT Martin, the UT Institute of Agriculture, and the UT Health Science Center.
UT Institute of Agriculture, Department of Food Science and Technology
Project: Food Borne Pathogens Research Study
Grant amount awarded: $12,000
The Department of Food Science and Technology’s research study will evaluate food safety of small farm operations and prepare farmers for implementation of safety measures through research and education. These measures will help to minimize outbreaks of food borne illnesses caused by bacteria such as Salmonella and E-coli. The program also evaluates the scale of risk at different levels of operation that could lead to identification of failures in the food chain not only at pre‐ and post-harvest, but also at home by consumers. The end result will be greater outreach/extension education and training materials for extension agents; farm personnel; producers; processors; and consumers.
The UT Health Science Center, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Project: Pathway to Professionalism
Grant amount awarded: $15,500
The Pathway to Professionalism project gives minority women the opportunity to earn a college degree, break the cycle of poverty, and become financially self-sufficient by helping to defray the cost of the UTHSC’s two-year medical technology school. Pathway to Professionalism’s primary objective is that of establishing an educational/economic “safety zone” for motivated students who are at risk of leaving the program due to financial hardship. The $15,500 Giving Circle grant will cover the cost of required educational items, such as books and uniforms, and the $4,500 medical technician exam fee for 20 students.
The UT Health Science Center
Project: The Memphis Mobile Market
Grant amount awarded: $6,000
The Memphis Mobile Market, a farmers market on wheels, was created by an industrious group of UT Health Science Center students as a way to ensure that poverty stricken Memphis residents have access to fresh produce, meats, and dairy products. Along with affordable farm-to-table food, the market also provides nutritional counseling and education. The long-term goal is to see improvements in chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension in the North Memphis area. The Mobile Market will be run by UTHSC students with support from the North Memphis communities, the Shelby County Mayor, and many other nonprofit organizations within Memphis.
Project: UT Martin Reading Clinic
Grant amount awarded: $14,500
Since January 2009 the UTM Reading Clinic has served over 70 struggling elementary school readers in learning the fundamental building block of education – reading. UT Martin pre-service teachers have gained valuable experience teaching reading by working as tutors, and young students benefit from the one-on-one lessons. Although tutoring is important to both students and teachers-in-training, the current economic climate makes tutoring services a necessity that they can no longer afford. The $14,500 Giving Circle grant will assist in providing 20 year-long scholarships for children with demonstrated academic and fiscal need.
Grant submissions for 2013-2014 academic year will be accepted May 1, 2013 through October 31, 2013. For more information about the UT Alliance of Women Philanthropists and the Giving Circle grants program visit http://alliance.tennessee.edu/.