Amy Azano, an associate professor in the School of Education, was awarded two Jack Kent Cooke Foundation grants, both related to her research in rural education. 

The Summer Enrichment Experience at Virginia Tech grant provides support to pilot a new residential summer enrichment experience for approximately 80–100 gifted rural students in grades 6 and 7 living in high-poverty rural Appalachian communities; the program is scheduled for the summer of 2021 and summer of 2022. The Appalachian Rural Talent Initiative extends key components of the program originally supported by a federal grant by increasing the number of students eligible for gifted education services and creating sustainable gifted programming in high-poverty rural Appalachian schools, with a goal of reaching approximately 500 students. The total amount of the two grants is $760,290.