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Inaugural Scholars in DU Diversity Program for Sciences Meet with Bayer Corp. CEO

The four inaugural Bayer Scholars at Duquesne University met with Bayer Corp. President and CEO Greg Babe on Tuesday, Oct. 27.Babe visited Duquesne to meet the freshmen from schools in New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania who comprise the first group of students to study under an initiative sponsored by Bayer. A number of faculty and other science undergraduate and graduate students also attended the event.

The Bayer USA Foundation provided an $800,000, eight-year grant to fund a new scholar/intern program for female and minority students in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences with the goal of enhancing diversity in the academic setting and the scientific work force.

“This program is helping to attract women and minority students of exceptional potential to the chemical and material sciences fields,” said Dr. David Seybert, dean of the Bayer School, noting that these groups traditionally have been underrepresented in industrial research. “Financial aid, laboratory research experiences, individual mentoring, and internships are integral components of the program, reflecting a common vision between Bayer and Duquesne in developing greater diversity in the field.”

“Attracting and retaining the interest of more female, African American, American Indian and Hispanic students in STEM is critical to our competitiveness individually as companies, collectively as industries and nationally as a country,” said Greg Babe, president and CEO, Bayer Corp., and president and chairman, Bayer USA Foundation.  “One way to accomplish this is to give these students outstanding educational opportunities like the Bayer Scholars program at Duquesne where they get to think and act like professional scientists right at the very beginning of their college careers.”

The first class of Bayer Scholars includes:

  • Emily Litzenberger, Kintnersville, Pa., a chemistry major
  • Camille Pottinger, Glenn Dale, Md., a chemistry major
  • Emilee Renk, Hopewell Township, Pa., a chemistry major
  • Elizabeth Roeske, Salem, N.J., an environmental science major with a concentration in chemistry.

Dr. Ellen Gawalt, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, serves as faculty mentor for the Bayer Scholars Program and meets regularly with the students, who conduct research projects, starting as freshmen. The Bayer School will provide a stipend to enable these students to continue these projects during the summers of their freshmen and sophomore years.
Researchers and executives from Bayer Corporation will offer mentoring on the corporate research and business environments, allowing these students to gain an appreciation of the relationship between basic and applied research in academic and corporate settings. In their junior and senior years, the Bayer Scholars receive the opportunity to participate in significant internships at the company’s facilities.

Duquesne has augmented the contribution of the Bayer USA Foundation to ensure that all Bayer Scholars will receive full tuition scholarships during their four years of undergraduate study. Over the next four years, an additional 16 students will be selected for the program.

About Bayer USA Foundation
The Bayer USA Foundation is an endowed 501(c)(3) entity and is the primary source of Bayer Corporation’s philanthropy in the United States.  With a programmatic focus on the environment and sustainability; education and workforce development; arts and culture; and health and human services, the foundation creates and supports organizations that improve communities in which Bayer employees live and work, as well as society at large. The Bayer USA Foundation is one of three Bayer corporate foundations worldwide, including the Bayer Science & Education Foundation and the Bayer Cares Foundation.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.