Skip to content

Public Interest Technology University Network Announces the 2022 Network Challenge Grantees

Play Video

New America awarded a total of $2.29 million to 18 grantees representing universities and colleges in the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) to bolster their efforts to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in technology development. Grants will be used to fund interdisciplinary teaching, career pipeline development, experiential learning and network building to advance social and racial justice, climate action, cybersecurity, data equity, human rights and more.

“This year’s winning projects share a common attribute. They center on the needs of communities that have historically been excluded from access to new technology, decision making and opportunities to join the technology workforce,” said Andreen Soley, Director of Public Interest Technology at New America. “This equity and Inclusive focus is the engine that drives all Challenge projects. It means modeling the development of technologies through co-designing with the communities and individuals that are meant to be recipients of the tools being deployed. It also means thoughtfully engaging the work that minority-serving institutions contribute to the growing PIT field.”

The Network Challenge grants are exclusively available via application to members of PIT-UN, comprising 48 diverse academic institutions working to strengthen public interest technology as a discipline and a career. It brings together students and educators from multiple disciplines to solve the toughest challenges our country and world face. Over the past three years, the grant has funded 100 projects totaling $14 million. 

The network and challenge grants are funded through the support of the Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Mastercard Impact Fund with support from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, The Raikes Foundation, Schmidt Futures and The Siegel Family Endowment.

2022 Grantees

Cal Poly State University

Principal Investigator: Elise St. John

Learning Across Domains: Developing an Inclusive Pipeline of Global Experts Skilled at Examining Ethical Risks and Social Impacts of Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technologies

Case Western Reserve University

Principal Investigator: Nicholas Barendt

PIT Fellowship Pilot Program

Cleveland State University 

Principal Investigator: Charles McElroy

The PIT Quantum Computing Training Pipeline

Georgetown University

Principal Investigator: Paul Ohm

Piloting a Potential Technology and Society Impact Clinic/Practicum

Georgia Institute of Technology

Principal Investigator: Julie Ju-Youn

GIT-N Building a Sustainable MOBILE LEARNING LAB for Westside Neighborhood – English Avenue

Georgia State University

Principal Investigator: Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh

Public Interest Data Literacy (PIDLit) Learning Lab

The George Washington University

Principal Investigator: Royce Francis

STEMcx Living Lab: Internet of Things (IoT)-Enabled Community Air Quality Measurement Systems

Howard University 

Principal Investigator: Noha Hazzazi

PIT UN Student Research and Symposium

LeMoyne-Owen College 

Principal Investigator: Denise Ferebee

Public Interest Technology: Building Blocks of Data Analytics

Miami Dade College

Principal Investigator: Carlos Genatios

Climate Change Effects on Socially Impacted Communities

Northeastern University 

Principal Investigator: Sina Fazelpo

Intelligence, Data, Ethics and Society Summer Institute

The Ohio State University

Principal Investigator: Emily Nutwell

Workforce development of minority student talent in data science, analytics, and design thinking, with consideration for IDEA – Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Access.

Rochester Institute of Technology 

Principal Investigator: Nathan Williams

Renewable Energy as a Public Interest Technology to Reinforce Tribal Sovereignty

Stillman College

Principal Investigator: Kevin Harris

CyberSecurity DEI Clinics

University of California Santa Cruz 

Principal Investigator: Sylvanna Falcon

Institutionalizing and Expanding the UC Human Rights Digital Investigations Network To Support Frontline Environmental Defenders

University of Chicago

Principal Investigator: David Uminsky 

South Side Civic: A Community Approach to Public Interest Technology

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Principal Investigator: Michelle Trim

Classics and Informatics Data Literacy Partnership

University of Michigan

Principal Investigator: Tayo Fabusuyi

A Knowledge Network for Underrepresented Public Interest Technology (PIT) Entrepreneurs

Funding the Future of PIT Interviews

By the Numbers

Grantee Keyword Mapping

*Note: Words are not to scale.