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Since its inception, the TCC Biotechnology Program Coordinator, Dr. Diana Spencer, has actively pursued grants that provide educational and research opportunities for students and educators. These grants have benefitted not only students of the Biotechnology program at TCC, but middle school and high school students and their teachers throughout northeast Oklahoma. Some of the outreach grants are listed below.
The National Science Foundation awarded a grant of $384,581 to Tulsa Community College for the Stimulating Enthusiasm, Exploration, and Discovery through Biotechnology Education (SEEDBEd) project. This grant funded the first Biotechnology Extravaganza for area high school teachers and students in 2007.
The Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (OK-INBRE) is funded through the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The MEDBEd grant of $500,000 funded more than $300,000 of biotechnology equipment for high school classrooms and workshops for high school teachers.
In the fall of 2011, the Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (OK-INBRE) provided $33,867 to Tulsa Community College to support a two-year supplemental grant, Sustaining Outreach of Learning Experiences in Biotechnology Education (SOLEBEd) under the direction of Dr. Diana Spencer. SOLEBEd’s goal was to continue reaching out to Oklahoma students and teachers to educate them on how biotechnology can feed, fuel, and heal the world. The SOLEBEd grant funded the 2012 High School Student Biotechnology Learning Extravaganza which provided nationally recognized speakers and hands-on biotechnology activities for students from eight Oklahoma high schools. The grant also funded TCC biotechnology student internships at several Oklahoma research facilities. In addition, several TCC faculty members and TCC biotechnology students attended the 2012 National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Ogden, Utah as a result of SOLEBEd’s sponsorship.