Mount St. Mary’s University was just named the recipient of the Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship Award, worth $174,996, to support women majoring in computer sciences, chemistry and mathematics that will apply the 2016-2017 academic year.
The award was given by the Henry Luce Foundation and has been a source of support for women in science since 1989.
The grant will be awarded to six high-achieving high school scholars who show talent in the science and mathematic fields. The Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship is awarded to institutions that have strong science and engineering programs, and schools that are committed to gender equality. The Mount professors who authored the grant are: Patti Kreke, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, Jonelle Hook, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mathematics, and Abigail Kula, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Environmental Science.
The goal of the grant is to “encourage women to enter, study, graduate and teach in science, mathematics and engineering.”
Women consist of nearly half of the faculty in non-science fields at Universities nationwide, yet only but a quarter of women faculty member teach mathematics, and an even a smaller percentage in physical sciences, engineering and computer sciences.
“These scholarships are one way in which we can help support women scholars as they progress towards a career in science and mathematics, areas that generally have a low percentage of women in the workforce (only about 15-25%). In addition to these scholarships, the Mount has a very active Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) club and living and learning community,” said Dean Jeffrey Simmons of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics.
Students will receive mentorship from both women Mount faculty members and women who are professionals in the particular field that the students have interest in. The program will also hopefully allow the students the ability to mentor younger individuals still in grade school.
Through this new scholarship program, women in computer sciences, chemistry and mathematics will be able embrace the women in science and mathematic community.
Earlier in the year, the Science Department received a grant worth $601,830 for scholarships for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students from the National Science Foundation. In addition to other grants, the Science Department has been awarded over $1 million in the past year.
“As a mentor for the undergraduate program I believe it is very important to emphasize to students how important a support system can be. It is important for students to understand and learn how to use a support system,” Kula said. “There may be times when these women feel uncomfortable in class and it okay to feel this way, but hopefully through this program they will realize that there is a community of women in those fields who will understand and support them.”
Sophomores and Juniors will be eligible to apply for this scholarship in Spring 2016, to be applied to the 2016-2017 academic year.