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Science Group Recognizes Duquesne Chemistry Professor for Outreach Program

A Duquesne University chemistry professor has received the 2014 Chairman's Award from the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Jennifer Aitken of Franklin Park, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was presented the 2014 Chairman's Award on May 21 for her work with the Project SEED. The program, hosted by Duquesne, places high school students from disadvantaged areas with University mentors and involves them in conducting research on campus over the summer.

The group has supported Project SEED programming for several years, enhancing the ability of the program to reach out to students who otherwise not might consider science careers. In addition to honoring Aitken, the group provided additional money to support this year's program.

"It is wonderful that the scientists in the Pittsburgh region embrace this program," Aitken said. "The students know that they are supported and they feel very much welcomed into the scientific community.

"Project SEED is significant because it is not just about science; it is about people," Aitken said. "It is about offering a chance to young students interested in science, allowing them to see what they can accomplish with a career in this field if they put their minds to it. The science is great, but at the end of the day, the best thing is knowing that you made a difference in the life of a student."

Since the program's inception on campus in 2003, Project SEED has touched the lives of 47 high school students, including the nine students who will participate this summer in the paid research opportunity.

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.