Haverford College gets grant
The $1.7 million award will go toward science
classes, research and minority programs at the school.
By Mark Stroh
INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
HAVERFORD TOWNSHIP - Haverford College has received a
$1.7 million grant to expand interdisciplinary science
classes, student research opportunities, and minority
The four-year grant, announced last week, is the largest
of 53 awarded this year by the Howard Hughes Medical
Institute, a nonprofit medical research organization in
Chevy Chase, Md. It is the third awarded to the college by
the institute since 1988, with the three totaling $4.25
Stephen Barkanic, the Hughes senior program officer for
undergraduate sciences, said Haverford's interdisciplinary
approach to science edcuation appeals to the institute.
"They're doing all the right things in terms of looking
ahead to where science is going, and preparing their
students for that," Barkanic said.
Philip Meneely, a biology professor at Haverford and the
school's Hughes program director, said the grant would
bolster several programs already funded by the institute at
They include interdisciplinary instruction for Haverford
professors, a study of the ethics of scientific advances, an
outreach program that enables inner-city high school
teachers and students to do laboratory research with
Haverford students and faculty, and a summer scholarship
program for Haverford science students.
The key to all of the programs, Meneely said, is breaking
down the traditional walls between different scientific
That approach appealed to Navid Sadri, 21, a senior who
is spending his second summer in the lab at Haverford as a
Sadri is working with a biologist, a chemist and a
physicist, studying the electrical properties of DNA. His
research may have applications in creating ever-smaller
"It's really opened my eyes to the whole concept of how
science really works," Sadri said. "It's not just one
biologist, or one chemist."
Barkanic called Haverford's curriculum "prescient."
"This is going to be a model of what other schools will
look at in terms of how to teach science in the future,"
Six Pennsylvania schools won grants from the institute
this year, the most of any state. Besides Haverford, they
are Swarthmore ($700,000), Dickinson ($900,000), Ursinus
($800,000), Washington and Jefferson ($700,000), and
Franklin and Marshall ($700,000).