Dec. 11, 2017
Saint Vincent College (SVC) has been awarded a $212,000 grant by the Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) program of the Henry Luce Foundation to increase the number of women who enroll and graduate as leaders in computing, engineering science and physics through the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars Program. SVC is one of only 11 colleges and universities in the United States awarded CBL grants this year.
Four female students majoring in computing, engineering science or physics will be selected – two in 2018 and two in 2019 – as CBL Scholars. Scholars will receive full tuition, fees, room and board for their junior and senior years through a combination of grant and college funds.
In addition, CBL Scholars will be compensated for participation in a summer research program or the Clare Boothe Luce Scholar STEM Module Development Summer Program, a six-week residential program at SVC from mid-May to the end of June. The Scholars will work with a faculty member to develop modules for use in middle and high school programming that encourages girls and young women to pursue STEM fields. These modules will be implemented during summer programs at SVC: Young Men and Women In Charge (three-day residential science camp for disadvantaged and historically underrepresented high school students from the Philadelphia area), Crossroads (five-day residential camp for rising sophomores from families in underserved communities near Pittsburgh) and Challenge (five-day enrichment program open to students in grades 5-12). For the research component, Scholars can apply for a summer assignment through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program or at a national laboratory initiative or will be paired with a Saint Vincent College faculty member conducting summer research.
During the academic year, Scholars will be encouraged to serve either as Collaborative Learning Program leaders or tutors. In addition, they will participate in activities the College hosts each year for high school students, such as the Pasta Engineering Bridge Competition or Cybersecurity Day. They also will be available to participate in SVC’s Get Acquainted Days to meet and talk with women interested in the selected majors. Finally, each junior Scholar will be assigned to mentor 1-3 first-year female students majoring in the CBL Scholars’ fields.
Serving on the Scholarship Selection Committee will be: Dr. John Smetanka, vice president for academic affairs and associate professor of physics; Dr. Stephen Jodis, dean of the Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computing and professor of computing and information systems; Dr. Paul Follansbee, chair and James F. Will Professor of Engineering Science; Dr. Cynthia Martincic, chair and associate professor of computing and information systems; Dr. Anis Maize, chair and professor of physics; and Dr. Jennifer Diemunsch, assistant professor of mathematics.
Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) was instrumental in establishing the Atomic Energy Commission and was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Italy (1953), becoming the first American woman to represent her country to a major world power. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Luce to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and in 1983, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Leaving the majority of her estate to The Henry Luce Foundation, she declined to restrict her vision to the fields in which she had established her reputation. She chose instead to establish a legacy that would benefit current and future generations of women with talent and ambition in areas where they continue to be severely underrepresented – science, mathematics and engineering. Her bequest created a program that is the single largest private source of funding for women in those fields.
Luce was posthumously inducted into the National Women’s Hall Of Fame on Sept. 16, 2017.
In addition to Saint Vincent, grants were awarded to George Washington University, Iona College, Lawrence University, Purdue University, the University of Chicago, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco and Virginia Tech.
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