News & Announcements

CSU Awarded Philanthropic Grant to Fuel Public Interest Tech Movement

CSU Awarded Philanthropic Grant to Fuel Public Interest Tech Movement  Funds will be used to develop the county’s first and most diverse quantum computing talent pipeline

CLEVELAND (October 28, 2022)—Earlier today, Cleveland State University (CSU) was announced as one of 18 universities and colleges selected to receive a portion of a $2.3 million in Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) grants from New America to bolster efforts to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in technology development. New America made the announcement at today’s PIT-UN annual convening in New York City.

Grants will be used “to fund interdisciplinary teaching, career pipeline development, experiential learning and network building to advance social and racial justice, climate action, cybersecurity, data equity, human rights and more,” according to Katherine Shek, New America’s deputy director of communications for Public Interest Technology.

CSU’s share of the grant funding is $180,000, earmarked for Quantum Computing.

“This PIT-UN Award is designed to serve Black students, Latinx students, and Female students. It centers DE&I efforts on programmatic design with a focus on intersectionality,” said Chelsey Cook Kohn, M.Ed., Tech Talent Pipeline director at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and CSU.

“It will place Cleveland as the national leader for Quantum Computing education and the Quantum Computing talent pipeline,” Kohn added, aligning CSU with other Quantum Computing leaders including IBM, Cleveland Clinic, CMSD, and Qubit by Qubit, The Coding School's International Quantum Education Initiative. “CSU is convening a dream team to address the development of a Quantum Computing talent pipeline in the United States.”

Technology plays an outsized role in shaping perspectives and collective culture. If not designed and used responsibly, it can inflict harm on people—especially vulnerable communities who are often left out of technology and policy decision making.

“Network Challenge” grants, as they’re colloquially known, are exclusively available via application to members of PIT-UN, which is comprised of 48 academic institutions working to strengthen public interest technology as a discipline and a career. It brings together students and educators from multiple disciplines to solve some of society’s toughest challenges.

CSU’s membership in PIT-UN is led by CSU T.E.C.H. Hub, a center that leverages technology, interdisciplinary collaboration, and internal and external partnerships to drive curricular and research innovation to benefit the Cleveland region.

“Quantum computing promises to create whole new areas of economic activity in the United States,” said Charles McElroy, Ph.D., assistant professor in Information Systems at CSU, and an Affiliate of the CSU T.E.C.H. Hub.

“The PIT-UN grant brings together some of the leaders in the field to promote this vital area of research in Cleveland, OH.  I am proud to be a part of this program where I can work with experts at IBM, the Cleveland Clinic, CSU, the CMSD, and Qubit X Qubit to make this vision a reality.”

About CSU T.E.C.H. Hub

Established in 2020, CSU T.E.C.H. Hub is a university-wide multidisciplinary center contributing the research and talent our region needs for all to thrive in an advanced technological society. The center serves as the interface with the Public Interest Technology-University Network on behalf of CSU. Find more information at  


About Cleveland State University

Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for Engaged Learning. With nearly 16,000 students, 10 colleges and schools and more than 175 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2021 as one of America’s best universities by U.S. News & World Report, including the #1 public university in Ohio for social mobility. Find more information at