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HCC gets $113,052 grant for biotech

December 15, 2008|By DAVE MCMILLION

o To read HCC's report, "Education, Economic Development, and 21st Century Jobs: The Case for Planned Growth of Biosciences in Washington County," go to www.hagerstowncc.edu/about/bioscience.pdf

Hagerstown Community College on Monday received a $113,052 grant through the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Higher Education Fund program that is designed to help area high school and college students prepare for growing numbers of jobs in the biotechnology industry, officials said.

The biotech jobs are ones like those at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., and are in fields like biodefense and biomedical, said Judith Peisen, chair of the mathematics and science division at Hagerstown Community College.

Hagerstown Community College officials plan to use the grant to enroll 24 high school students in an eight-week biotechnology institute next summer, to provide professional development for 15 middle school and high school science teachers through the institute, and to enroll 11 HCC biotech students in Fort Detrick internship experiences, according to Peisen and a news release from the school.

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The money also will be used to increase the number of students committed to the "high school to community college pathway" from 15 to 65 students, the release said.

Through that program, Hagerstown Community College works with Washington County Schools to help local high school students interested in a biotech career make sure they are taking the right courses to prepare them for the field, Peisen said.

The 24 high school students who will be in the eight-week biotechnology institute will be enrolled in a three-credit hour introduction to biotechnology course and a four-credit hour course in biology or chemistry, Peisen said. The grant money will pay for most of the students' expenses, Peisen said.

The grant was one of 16 awarded to state colleges and universities Monday by Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown during a news conference in Annapolis, according to a release from Brown's office.

Brown also designated five areas as "BRAC Zones," the release stated.

One of the BRAC Zones will be in Frederick, Md., and will be referred to as the Frederick East Side BRAC Zone. That site is 664 acres and includes historic downtown Frederick, the Transit Center and Monocacy Boulevard northeast to the Research park.

The Frederick project plan calls for office, industrial and warehouse space at the Riverside Research Park, 66 acres of mixed-use development at the Frederick Brick Works and a 1.3-mile, mixed-use urban park at Carroll Creek Park, the release said.

Monday's announcements came about one year after Brown and others submitted a BRAC action plan to Gov. Martin O'Malley.

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