Education briefs for Monday, Sept. 25

VCU engineering school sets scholarship program

RICHMOND — The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering launched a new scholarship program last week aimed at helping non-conventional students.

The scholarship, called the Wright Engineering Access Scholarship, was established with a $5 million donation from C. Kenneth Wright, a retired Richmond-area businessman and longtime VCU benefactor.

The program has 19 students in its inaugural cohort with plans to expand.

Richmond a ‘Talent Hub,’ says national foundation

RICHMOND — The city of Richmond has been named one of 17 “Talent Hubs” across the country by a national foundation for its work in helping underrepresented students.

The Indianapolis-based Lumina Foundation, whose mission is to expand student access beyond high school, named the recipients of the distinction on Monday. With the distinction comes $350,000 in grants across 3½ years to help support initiatives aimed at increasing post-high school access.

Richmond is the only city in Virginia to earn the distinction.

VCU professor’s grant will help youth in Richmond

RICHMOND — A Virginia Commonwealth University psychology professor has received a $1.1 million grant to help raise the number of psychology doctoral students who provide behavioral health care to underserved youth, Latino immigrants and refugees in the Richmond region.

The grant, awarded to Heather Jones, will help increase the number of psychology doctoral students who work with the Primary Care Psychology Training Collaborative, a VCU program that provides free health services for targeted patients.

Fulbright sending UR grad to Brazil to teach English

RICHMOND — A Class of 2017 University of Richmond alumna will travel to Brazil in February to teach English after receiving a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant.

Jacquelyn Pearlmutter, who graduated from the university in May, worked as a Spanish drill instructor while at UR.

Va. student loan borrowers have $33 billion in debt

RICHMOND — The average Virginia student loan borrower still owes about $35,000, according to federal data released last week.

The state has about 952,400 residents who have outstanding student loan debt that accounts to $33.1 billion, according to the data from the U.S. Department of Education. That ranks 11th among the 50 states.

California has the most outstanding student loan debt at more than $116 billion.

Chesterfield breaks ground on new Enon Elementary

CHESTERFIELD — Chesterfield County and school officials broke ground Friday on a replacement for Enon Elementary School, one of 10 school revitalization projects approved by county residents in the 2013 bond referendum. The original school, which was built in 1938, was demolished this summer. The new school will be built on the same site.

Enon Elementary students and staff are being housed at Marguerite Christian Elementary until the new Enon Elementary opens in January 2019.

— From staff and wire reports

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