Scholarships Foster Growing Diversity in Sciences at Duquesne

Scholarships designed to increase diversity in scientific fields at Duquesne University will provide six eligible students with full-tuition, four-year scholarships, starting this fall.

The endowed Qualters Scholarship is designated for an African-American male studying science. The inaugural recipient will be biology major Michael Oladosu, a graduate of Monsignor Bonner High School, Lansdowne, Pa.

“This scholarship was created by Dr. Irene Qualters and is named for her mother Elizabeth,” explained Dr. Philip Reeder, dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. “As a scientist, Dr. Qualters recognizes the importance of diversifying the student body in the sciences and preparing a diverse and capable collection of young scientists to meet the challenges of the future.”

Another program designed to increase diversity in the STEM fields, the Bayer School Scholars Program (BSSP), is a cooperative program for incoming Duquesne freshmen involving Duquesne University, the Citizen Science Lab and local industries.

Applicants must be African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or female, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and entering, as a freshman, a degree program offered in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

“A big reason why the U.S. is falling behind other countries in STEM is that we have effectively written off a huge chunk of our population as being uninterested in those fields or incapable of succeeding in them,” said Dr. Phillip Palmer, assistant dean of the Bayer School.

Improving the representation of minorities and women in STEM fields not only would enrich American scientific research by adding different perspectives to workplace culture, but would reduce income inequality between whites and other groups, narrow the gender gap in wages, and offer a wide choice of professional opportunities for the jobs and careers of the future, said Palmer, a minority scientist.

“These funding opportunities are important for Duquesne University because it helps us to fulfill our Spiritan mission and have a direct impact on the local, national and global landscape,” he said.

Besides a full-tuition scholarship for four years, the BSSP benefits include:

  • Original research projects at Duquesne, the Citizen Science Lab, and/or local industry
  • Funded summer research experiences at Duquesne
  • A paid summer internship at the Citizen Science Lab
  • A second paid internship that is tailored to the student’s area of interest
  • Mentoring by Duquesne science faculty, Citizen Science Lab scientists and/or local industry science professionals.

Each program in the Bayer School admitted a scholar for Fall 2016: biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, environmental science, forensic science and law, and physics.

This fall, they will welcome scholars:

  • Biology major Brionna Nelson, Penn Hills High School
  • Biochemistry major Brynn Roman, James M. Bennett High School, Salisbury, Md.
  • Environmental Science major Kelsey Coates, Arundel Senior High School, Odenton, Md.
  • Physics major Waymond Smoot, Wellington School, Westerville, Ohio
  • Forensic science and law major Colette Miranda, Broad Run High School, Ashburn, Va.

Duquesne University

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