Chemical Industry "Drives" STEM Scholarship Funding For HBCU Students | AIChE

Chemical Industry "Drives" STEM Scholarship Funding For HBCU Students

July 2, 2024

Inaugural Swings for STEM golf tournament raises $75,000 for Future of STEM Scholars Initiative.

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Alliance for Chemical Distribution (ACD) proudly hosted the inaugural Swings for STEM golf tournament on June 24 at Lansdowne Golf Course in Leesburg, Virginia, benefitting the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI).

The event brought together nearly 100 participants, including chemical industry and affiliated association employees, Congressional staff members, and representatives of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). With the leadership of more than 20 sponsoring organizations, including presenting sponsor Dow, the event raised $75,000 in support of the impactful scholarship program.

Established in 2020 to help reduce financial barriers to higher education and enhance diversity in the chemical industry workforce, FOSSI provides $40,000 scholarships to students studying preferred STEM degrees at HBCUs. To date, FOSSI has raised over 35 million for nearly 750 scholars and has a 94% student retention rate.

"To remain competitive in today's global economy, it's essential that we foster an environment of growth and opportunity for the next generation of diverse talent," said Eric R. Byer, ACD President and CEO. "The FOSSI program helps to achieve this goal, seeking to fill the STEM workforce gap in the chemical industry. This week's event represents an important step in investing in the future of our workforce so that we can continue to demonstrate the value of our industry among students nationwide."

Chris Jahn, President and CEO of ACC, added, "I am incredibly proud of the impact that FOSSI has made on hundreds of talented students across the nation. Swings for STEM is not only raising scholarship funds, but also awareness of the important role of HBCUs and the opportunities that FOSSI provides students and educators. I'm grateful to all who came out today to support our program."

During the event, Lisa Lanzkowsky, Chief Development Officer of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Foundation, accepted the donation check on behalf of FOSSI. Lanzkowsky expressed her gratitude for industry's leadership and support of FOSSI, stating, "I am honored to accept this check on behalf of the AIChE Foundation. This will change the lives of future FOSSI scholars and build on the incredible impact FOSSI has made to date."

Melea Earley (Howard University Class of 2025) joined her sponsor company, SABIC, at the event, noting, "FOSSI has been an incredible experience. I was excited to be at Swings for STEM and experience the support of so many people and companies who are investing in FOSSI scholars like me. It was also a great opportunity to network and meet many of the sponsors. I hope to come back next year!"

Brendan Bryan (North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Class of 2025) added, "I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a FOSSI Scholar and attend this fundraiser event. It was an invaluable experience to connect with distinguished individuals and representatives from prominent companies, all of whom share a common focus in engineering and STEM fields. Meeting professionals who work in Congress was particularly inspiring as it opened my eyes to new possibilities in advocacy and potential career paths."

ACC and ACD would like to thank the event sponsors, including: Dow (Presenting Sponsor); AC & S Incorporated; AdvanSix; Adhesive and Sealant Council; American Cleaning Institute; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers; American Petroleum Institute; Bergeson & Campbell P.C.; Brainerd Chemical Company; Brenntag North America, Inc.; Catalynt Solutions, Inc.; The Chlorine Institute; DuPont; Fragrance Creators Association; Holland & Knight; Household Commercial Products Association; Occidental Chemical Corporation; Plastics Industry Association; SOCMA; Thompson Hine, LLP; and the Vinyl Institute. 

FOSSI will welcome 150 new scholars this fall; applications for the 2025 scholarship open on September 27.

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SOURCE: American Chemistry Council

About the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative

The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative was founded by the American Chemistry Council, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), The Chemours Company, and the HBCU Week Foundation. FOSSI is a national program which provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in relevant science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Sponsored by chemical manufacturers and related industry stakeholders, FOSSI provides recipients $10,000 per year for four years and connects these students to leadership development, mentoring and internship opportunities at participating companies. Learn more at