SELINSGROVE — Officials at Susquehanna University received word recently that the school likely will be the recipient of a $100,000 grant co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey.

The grant is part of the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, a measure approved last week that contains $20.6 million in funding for several federal agencies as well as for local transportation, housing, health, education and law enforcement programs in northeast and central Pennsylvania.

Susquehanna will use its portion of the funding to buy equipment for its biology, chemistry and earth and environmental sciences programs, all of which will be located in the new science building, said Ed Clark, of the university’s college relations department.

He said the equipment will be used in student laboratories and also might be used to assist faculty research.

“Susquehanna places a high emphasis on students participating in hand-on learning,” Clark said.

Now that the funding has been appropriated, he said the university must submit an application to the U.S. Department of Higher Education, a process university officials have gone through for the past two years. Clark expected the federal government to release the funds in the spring or summer.

In preparation for the application, Clark said faculty members in the university’s science programs will meet to discuss their priorities for equipment.

In 2007, the university was awarded an $86,000 grant, and in 2008, it received a $95,000 grant, Clark said. Some of that money was used to buy laptop computers, which were used by students to assist faculty research on the Susquehanna River.

There are about 250 students enrolled in Susquehanna University’s science programs, he said, and he expects that number to increase. Already, he said the university has seen a 50 percent increase in science-related college applicants, which he attributes, in part, to the anticipated opening of the science building.

The $33 million, 75,000-square-foot “green” science building is under roof, Clark said. The first departments are expected to move in in March with plans to have the building completed and fully occupied by August.

When completed, it will be the largest academic building on campus.

Recommended for you