Grants and Research


The Akoben Academy at Bowie State University (BSU) is a private grant funded by State Farm Insurance Company and supported by BSU Office of Institutional Advancement.   The Akoben Academy at BSU is a rites of passage after-school program designed to support and promote the educational, cultural, physical, and psychosocial needs of African American male students.  Based on an African-centered philosophy, the program offers a wonderful opportunity for African American males to participate in academic tutoring, cultural-enrichment activities, manhood training, exercise/recreation, discussion groups, and more.  The program was created, in part, as a subsidiary endeavor to the existing Male Initiative Project on Bowie State University’s campus.  In 2009, the University’s President Dr. Burnim, set forth a university-wide charge (Male Initiative) for all males to take ownership, leadership, and responsibility in the community.  In response, The Akoben Academy is an attempt to “answer this call.”

Currently, the program is housed at one elementary school in Prince George’s County.  The future goal of the program is to extend these viable services to other schools and at the secondary school level.  The program aims to improve education excellence via addressing: (a) parent involvement; (b) peer, home, and school self-esteem; (c) behavior problems in school; (d) cultural identity; and (e) awareness of psychosocial issues (i.e., drugs, health, manhood, etc).  At the conclusion of the program (fiscal school year), participants will have an Initiation Ceremony to signify their successful completion of program goals and entry into “Manhood.”  The Akoben Academy at BSU was created and is facilitated by faculty in the Department of Counseling, Dr. Otis Williams, III and Dr. Jennifer West.

Contact Principal Investigator for this grant:  Dr. Otis Williams, III



The New Minority Male Health Project (NMMHP) at Bowie State University (BSU) is part of a consortium between Morehouse College, Wilberforce University, Morgan State University, and Lincoln University that delivers a comprehensive campus and community-based model program that addresses issues of health for male minorities, a population that has been distanced from health and wellness.

The New Minority Male Health Project promotes a strategy that provides education and intervention activities to the male population at Bowie State University and the community surrounding the University.

Project activities occurred in several phases. The first phase, occurred during year one, it included the 1) project start-up, 2) formation of an advisory board, 3) final establishment of key players, 4) designing and posting of a comprehensive and interactive web resource, 5) designing and implementing of a needs assessment of health concerns of BSU males, and 6) designing of the education and intervention to be implemented.

The purpose of the initial phase of the project was to alter the behavior of the minority males attending Bowie State University and to empower them to seek preventive and regular medical treatment. Concurrently, NMMHP has replicated this educational and intervention model throughout Prince George's County in Maryland.

NMMHP addresses minority male access and utilization of health services, including the examining and sharing of cutting-edge research that considers attitudes and behavior towards medical care and the strategies employed to improve access and delivery of services to minority males. NMMHP contributes its voice and research to understanding and eradicating the distancing of minority men from America's health care system.

Contact the Principle Investigator for this grant:  Dr.  Cubie Bragg 


Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is an important topics in American Education.  Bowie State University is aggressively planning to develop an undergraduate certification program focusing on STEM.  The specific focus of this undergraduate degree program is in instructional technology education.  From this central focus two stands will be incorporated in the content areas of Mathematics and Sciences.  This approach will enable Bowie State University to develop an undergraduate degree program that can assist in satisfying the current shortage of teacher in Mathematics and Science, with a strong emphasis in instructional technology, math and /or science.

Teacher education candidates who graduate from this program will be very diverse in their applications as well as extremely marketable for employment considerations by counties in future employment by counties in the state of Maryland.  In addition, graduates from this program will be competent in their content specialty, grounded in knowledge-bases of their discipline and sensitive to the needs of the students they teach.

Contact the Principle Investigator for this grant:  Professor Barbara Smith