PSU to benefit from grants in nursing, plastics engineering technology, and wood tech 

Grants awarded to three programs for which Pittsburg State University is known will help those programs better serve students by preparing them for the workforce. 


A $1 million grant from the HRSA, the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality, and Retention — Registered Nurse Training Program will provide a total of 20 scholarships per year for the next three years in the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing. 

Director Cheryl Giefer said it will help not only students but will positively impact the nursing workforce in Southeast Kansas and the Four State Area. 

“This means we’ll be able to provide to our area health care partners more graduates trained in acute care settings in medically underserved areas who are ready to work," Giefer said. 

PSU is a pipeline for nurses heading to the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Freeman Health System, and Girard Medical Center. 

Each year, the grant will fund 10 pre-licensure BSN scholarships and 10 RN to BSN scholarships, covering tuition and fees. 

PSU is one of 14 schools in the nation to receive this federal grant.  

Plastics Engineering Technology 

A $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology will allow the Plastics Engineering Technology program at PSU to purchase equipment and implement lecture-based and hands-on laboratory learning modules focused on plastics circularity in the materials, design, and processing phases of production. 

A circular economy for plastics is one in which materials retain their value through repeated reuse, repair and recycling, and are discarded only as a last resort. It requires new manufacturing methods, chemical processes, and separation capabilities, as well as new approaches for optimizing how plastics cycle through the industrial supply chain.  

The funding also will provide summer stipends for faculty and students to develop a curriculum around sustainability. 

PSU is one of five universities nationwide to receive the grant. It is under the direction of Jeanne Norton and Greg Murray. 

Wood Technology 

The Architectural Manufacturing and Management Technology program at PSU received a $36,000 grant and matched funds, for a total of $72,000, from the Architectural Woodwork Institute Education Foundation. 

The funding will allow the AMMT program to upgrade the design and engineering lab with new computers, monitors, and components. 

The PSU AMMT, or “Wood Product Manufacturing” program, is unique among higher education institutions nationwide and draws students from many states away. 

PSU AMMT is one of only six accredited programs to receive the grant. It is under the direction of Charlie Phillips and Jordan Backs.