The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $10 million to a consortium of institutions, including the University of Hawaii at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABOM), to focus on building capacity and manpower for data analysis through Hawaii and the WE-affiliated Pacific region. The consortium is led by Chaminade University and includes the East-West Center and the Texas Advanced Computing Center.
The “Alliance Supporting Pacific Impact through Computational Excellence (EVERYTHING–SPICE UP/)”, is made possible thanks to NSFit is UNDERSTAND (Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) as part of a $39 million effort to address the challenges of diversity, inclusion and participation in STEM at national scale.
“This award will critically support the development of data science in Hawaii and the Pacific, empowering stakeholders, developing a workforce that knows the utility and power of using data, and subsequently improving data-informed decision-making capabilities in many multiple industries, fields and disciplines,” said co-lead researcher Alex Stokes, JABOM lecturer in cellular and molecular biology and member of the Hawaii Data Science Institute.
Stokes also recently received a $1.5 million award NSF ROD S program grant that will provide training and tuition scholarships to talented low-income undergraduate and graduate students, with an emphasis on the biological application of data science.
“Data science education offers students the opportunity to qualify for a wide range of excellent jobs that are in high demand across multiple public and private sector organizations,” said uh President David Lasner. “EVERYTHING–SPICE UP will enable us to serve students and communities through Hawaii as we also expand our Pacific commitments to a critical area that needs it.
Consortium partners are Chaminade University New United Nations FICAL Center (IP Helen Turner); the Texas Advanced Computing Center; the uh-Institute of Data Science and JABOM (co-IP Alex Stokes); and the East-West Center (co-IP Mary Perez-Hatori).
The program will also work closely with uh Hilo’s “Islands of Opportunity” NSF Alliance that engages colleges and universities across the WE-affiliated Pacific islands.
EVERYTHING–SPICE UP co-IP Kelly Gaither, director of health analytics at the Texas Advanced Computing Center and professor of maternal health at Dell Medical School in Utah Austin said, “Data science is a 21st century non-negotiable skill set for both individuals and entire communities. Data can be both a source and a solution to injustice and inequity. I am delighted that each partner in this Alliance shares the values of building data analytics capacity for Hawaii-Pacific communities to address their own challenges such as poverty, declining ecosystems and health disparities, and to do so in an inclusive and ethical manner.
The EVERYTHING–SPICE UP Alliance will begin offering programs and opportunities on September 1, 2022.
Learn more about the JABOM website.