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From Thrash Metal To Sheet Metal: Metallica Awards STEM Grant To WSU Tech

WSU Tech, part of Wichita State University, received a $100,000 grant from the foundation run by the heavy metal band Metallica.

WSU Tech will be one of the first schools in the country aided by Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation.

WSU Tech and nine other community colleges were awarded $100,000 Metallica Scholars Grants by the heavy metal band’s philanthropic organization.

Dana Schirer, assistant director of grants for WSU Tech, says the grant will be used to advance career opportunities for women in the manufacturing industry.

“I think this is kind of furthering our mission to get more women into STEM fields because we want to show that they can do that and that this would be a good outlet for them to get into and provide for their families," Schirer says.

The grant will hopefully act as an opportunity to boost the enrollment of women in manufacturing, Schirer says. It will also give women an opportunity to “share their experiences about how they can find a good career path in manufacturing fields.”

“We do have women in our manufacturing programs, but there just aren’t nearly as many as our general education programs or our health care programs,” she says.

Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation began as a way to support hunger and emergency community aid. It recently expanded its mission to include supporting education, in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges.

The 10 grants — totalling $1 million — were awarded to community colleges in North Carolina, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas, Idaho, Washington and Kansas.

WSU Tech is a two-year college with more than 100 degrees in aviation, manufacturing, police science and more. It formerly was known as Wichita Area Technical College.

Andrew Linnabary is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.