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Donors Invest in ACS Scholars Program

by Linda Wang
April 23, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 17

Meet And Greet
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
Current and past scholars mingled at a minority affairs reception during the ACS national meeting in Chicago.
Credit: Linda Wang/C&EN
Current and past scholars mingled at a minority affairs reception during the ACS national meeting in Chicago.

In October 2006, Jack N. Gerard, president and chief executive officer of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and William F. Carroll Jr., then immediate past-president of the American Chemical Society, sent a letter to roughly 100 ACC member companies, bringing to their attention "an opportunity to help attract new talent to the chemistry enterprise." The letter described the ACS Scholars Program.

As a result of the joint campaign, 15 new corporate donors have pledged their support for the college scholarship program that helps academically gifted African American, Hispanic, and Native American students pursue studies in the chemical sciences (C&EN, Oct. 17, 2005, page 35).

The new donors are Akzo Nobel, Arch Chemicals, Bio-Cide International, Brenntag North America, Johnson Matthey, Kuehne Chemical, Lanxess, Lubrizol, Nalco, National Starch & Chemical, Perstorp Polyols, Sasol North America, Solvay North America, Sunoco, and Univar. Each company will sponsor one or two entering freshmen with an initial, first-year stipend of $2,500 per student.

"We need to invest in tomorrow's highly skilled technicians and engineers if we are to continue delivering our innovative products to society," Gerard says. "ACC is proud to help develop the future intellectual capital pool of the business of chemistry by supporting the ACS Scholars Program."

The scholarship program began in 1995 and has since awarded over $8 million to more than 1,700 students.

"Diversity in chemistry is critical, and I do think that ACS has a program here that clearly attracts top talent and then encourages that talent to stay in the field," says Laura Tew, director of stakeholder relations at Arch. "I like the fact that the stipend in this scholarship program increases from the freshman year to the senior year and therefore encourages the student to stay in the field."

Freshmen receive stipends of $2,500. They receive progressively greater amounts, up to $5,000, in subsequent years, as long as they maintain the program's requirements.

Tew says Arch hopes to invite their scholars to tour their facilities, get to know their engineers, and do some job shadowing to get a feel for what it's like to be a professional chemist. "It is our hope that we can get to know these students and that they can get to know Arch," she says.

Laurie M. Marsh, director of workforce planning and president of the Nalco Foundation, says that Nalco believes "very strongly in supporting science education, especially at a very early stage in a person's development." She says she anticipates a long-term relationship with the ACS Scholars Program.



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