Delaware State University said today it will receive one of ten $1 million awards from TikTok to fund scholarships for students pursuing medical and health-care degrees.
The awards are part of TikTok’s Health Heroes Relief Fund, focused on Black, Latinx and indigenous students.
It is Delaware State’s second big award in two days. On Tuesday it received an unrestricted $20 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. In discussing that gift, Delaware State president Tony Allen said he has hopes for a health sciences program in downtown Dover as part of its acquisition of Wesley College.
“We are grateful to TikTok for recognizing the power of everyday health heroes like the ones we are developing on our campus in combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” Allen said in a statement. “A small army of employee and student volunteers … came out every test day – rain or shine – to administer the 35,000 tests necessary to keep us all safe. … These are our heroes.”
In conjunction with universal mask use, social distancing, hybrid instruction and contact tracing, the university’s “Together” COVID response plan recorded only 121 student positive results. This was a positive result rate of less than 0.5%.
Together was run by the public and allied health department, chaired by Drs. Michelle Fisher, the school’s chief medical officer and a registered nurse, and Robert C. Mason.
“Dr. Fisher has been a remarkable partner as we navigate through COVID,” said Dr. Stacy Downing, vice president for student affairs. “Her knowledge in the health field is shown through her dedication, passion and compassion undoubtedly makes her mine and DSU’s ‘health hero.’”
“Having your school receive an award from TikTok is particularly cool,” said Emily Campanelli, a junior majoring in political science and the secretary of the Student Government Association. “Students live on social media, especially during the pandemic, and it says a lot about your institution to be recognized by one of the giants in the industry.”
TikTok is a wildly popular video-sharing social network that was in the news earlier this year because of White House pressure to move control of it to the United States from its Chinese creators.