By Niko Balkaran
Two science programs got a surprise Valentine’s Day gift when Congressman Gregory Meeks showed up at York College to announce a $2.1 million allocation of federal funds on Feb. 14. The funds, secured federal funding through the Congressional Community Program, will be allocated to the Geology and Environmental Science programs and the Pharmaceutical Science workforce training program.
“You are the example of not just today but tomorrow,” said Meeks. “The key is to make sure that tomorrow is better than today. Quality education will allow students to lead in the technological field that will make the jobs of tomorrow.”
The $1,267,500 issued to the Geology and Environmental Sciences programs will help design a program that will train students to become geologists specializing in infrastructure development, upgrades and maintenance, Meeks said. The funds will also be used for student stipends, field expenses, workshops and a faculty-student mentorship program for new Geology majors. Meeks said this program is a long-term plan to prepare students for the “jobs of tomorrow.”
The $850,000 allocated to the Pharmaceutical Science workforce training program is intended for student training and new drug identification and analysis equipment. York will now have state-of-the-art tools and techniques to train the next generation, according to Meeks.
Many students in both programs are from southeastern Queens and represent first-generation Americans, a comment echoed by several officials at the event which was held in the Atrium. “Programs like these fill the field with diverse and underrepresented groups and are essential to close the gap,” Meeks said.
“It [the funding] is a game changer for all of us and I want you all to know we are so grateful to Congressman Meeks,” said York President Berenecea Eanes. “I have heard and read many times that York is the brain trust of the fifth congressional district. Today, he proves how very valuable we are and he is to us.”