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Three $5K HEPC grants will support diversity, retention, mental health

ISSUED: 3 August 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Costa

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University has received three grants from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) that will help with the university’s diversity and mental health programs.

“We are thrilled that Shepherd University has been awarded these three grants from the West Virginia HEPC,” said Holly Morgan Frye, vice president for student affairs. “Our staff worked diligently to create proposals to provide the greatest impact for our students.”

The HEPC Diversity for Equity Grant Program awarded a one-year $5,000 grant to Shepherd’s WISE (Wisdom Inspires Student Excellence) program. This funding will support the second year of the high-impact mentoring and early intervention program with a primary goal of improving student retention, enhancing social and cultural capital, improving access to textbooks and course materials, and boosting academic achievement of nontraditional students. WISE empowers and prepares incoming students and mentors as advocates for social change.

A second $5,000 one-year grant will fund multicultural programming coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs to build cultural and identity awareness, cultivate appreciation for others, celebrate differences, and build a community of acceptance for all individuals at Shepherd.

The third one-year $5,000 grant from the HEPC Campus Mental Health Program will cover materials to support increased outreach programming and student mental health promotion reflecting the norm that holistic wellbeing is a value and benefit for Shepherd students.

“These grants will prepare students for the multicultural world they will enter after they graduate, and the mental health grant will ensure they receive the emotional support they need to succeed academically, socially, and personally,” Frye said.

Frye said the past 18 months have demonstrated, more than ever, the need for this level of student support, especially through the WISE program.

“The WISE grant will allow Shepherd to continue achieving its primary goals—helping students stay in college, graduate, and positively contribute to society,” she said.

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