First in the World Program (FITWP)

Message from the Program Director

Dr TchounwouWelcome to the First in the World (FITW) program at Jackson State University (JSU). Through this site you will find relevant information on important strategic activities implemented by the Program.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, FITW Program supports postsecondary institutions’ efforts to develop new approaches that can expand college access and improve student learning while reducing costs.

It is an honor that the Jackson State project entitled “Integrated STEM Experience for All Students through Multidisciplinary Research, Innovation, Education and Engagement” is one of only 16 proposals that were funded in 2015, nationally.

JSU’s project aims to transform the learning environment at the university by focusing on two outcomes – encouraging enthusiasm about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across all fields of learning and supporting innovative and creative teaching initiatives that engage students in STEM fields.” Our overarching goals are to improve teaching and learning in STEM disciplines, increase retention and graduation rates, increase STEM literacy and stimulate enthusiasm about STEM education at JSU.

We are implementing a multilevel transformation in STEM education, and developing the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians who will become global leaders of the 21st century. Through our multidisciplinary approach, dedication and commitment to academic excellence, we are confident that this monumental project will make a tremendous impact on the production of a competent STEM workforce that will contribute to the United States pre-eminence as a global leader in research and innovation.

Again, welcome to the JSU-FITW website. I hope you will find it informative and useful. With best wishes.


Paul B. Tchounwou, Sc.D., F.A.B.I., I.O.M
Principal Investigator & Program Director
CSET Associate Dean & Presidential Distinguished Professor