Partnership to focus on diversifying the marine sciences and cultivating the next generation of ocean advocates
NEW YORK – February 15, 2023: Global ocean exploration nonprofit, OceanX, has announced a historic partnership with Spelman College to offer students an in-depth experience with ocean exploration and marine science and operations. The partnership underlines OceanX’s efforts to increase diversity in STEM education and serves to bridge existing gaps in the marine sciences by equipping Spelman students and faculty with resources and opportunities across four core areas: OceanX’s Young Explorers program, employment opportunities, research and curriculum development, and partnership building.
“Spelman College is a hallmark of education, and we’re excited to partner with this iconic institution to further ocean research and understanding while increasing diversity and representation in the marine sciences and STEM education at large,” said Vincent Pieribone, Co-CEO and Chief Science Officer at OceanX. “At OceanX, we strive to cultivate a deep connection to our planet’s oceans, and we’re honored to bring the wonders of ocean exploration and marine science to the students and faculty of Spelman. We hope this is the first of many meaningful partnerships with the College that expands access to these exciting fields to more students who bring different perspectives to this work.”
Through its signature Young Explorers program, OceanX selects students to embark on an educational journey aboard OceanXplorer, its one-of-a-kind scientific research, media production, and exploration vessel, during which they learn about the convergence of captivating media and ocean exploration, research and operations. The OceanX-Spelman partnership ensures that at least one Spelman student and, space permitting, one professor, will participate in Young Explorers in 2023.
“Our collaboration with OceanX’s Young Explorers has opened up once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for Spelman College students to combine scientific exploration of our oceans with cutting-edge media techniques to bring discoveries back to humanity for greater understanding,” said Jerry Volcy, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Spelman Innovation Lab. “This formal partnership will ensure our students benefit from the experience – both on the ship and in our classrooms – for years to come.”
The OceanX-Spelman partnership will extend beyond academia, creating employment opportunities at OceanX for Spelman students, along with an ongoing exploration of other opportunities for collaborations.
Faculty members will also have opportunities to participate in the OceanX-Spelman partnership, with curriculum development being a key component of the planned work. Live classroom opportunities will be incorporated into biology courses, and professors will be invited to join the OceanXplorer, working with other professionals to help guide their curriculum. Similarly, professors and students alike will have opportunities to participate in ocean research projects. Extending into OceanX’s esteemed partner network, students and faculty at Spelman will be able to engage and work with leaders from organizations such as Black in Marine Science, Coral Vita, Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, NOAA, and others.
For more information about OceanX’s Young Explorers program, visit the OceanX website.
For media inquiries regarding OceanX, please contact Rida Bint Fozi at firstname.lastname@example.org. For media inquiries about Spelman, please contact Denise Ward at email@example.com.
OceanX is a mission to support scientists to explore the ocean and to bring it back to the world through captivating media. Uniting leading media, science, and philanthropy partners, OceanX utilizes next-gen technology, fearless science, compelling storytelling, and immersive experiences to educate, inspire, and connect the world with the ocean and build a global community deeply engaged with understanding, enjoying, and protecting our oceans. OceanX is an initiative of Dalio Philanthropies, which furthers the diverse philanthropic interests of Dalio family members. For more information, visit www.oceanx.org and follow OceanX on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn.
About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by the U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 5 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 16th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal has ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and collaborations have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones.
To learn more, please visit spelman.edu and @spelmancollege on social media.