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Norfolk State University established the Dozoretz National Institute for Minorities in Applied Sciences (DNIMAS) in the fall of 1985.

The goal of DNIMAS is designed to address the severe shortage of minority scientists by producing graduates who are capable of entering and successfully completing graduate studies in the basic and applied sciences. This educational opportunity should better prepare students to enter occupations in industry, government, education, and numerous other fields requiring advanced scientific skills. Graduates of the Institute will also be capable of entering medical or other health professional schools.

The institute creates an academic community where learning is the main component of student growth and extracurricular activities are encouraged to enrich every student’s college experience. All students engage in research projects and gain work experiences through seminars and summer internships.

The Institute is named after Dr. Ronald Dozoretz (pronounced Do-zortz), a local psychiatrist in Southwestern Virginia who was a major benefactor to the Institute. The DNIMAS program had received a number of grants from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to develop and enhance its science curricula.

The first DNIMAS class began in the fall of 1986 with an enrollment of 20 freshman students. Each student admitted to the program at that time was required to have at least a 3.00 average from high school, strong scores on the college boards, and high grades in science and mathematics. The program is populated with students from all areas in the United States; however, the majority of them are graduates of Virginia high schools.