Keshav Patel ’19 is finishing an honors thesis in mathemetics. Lauren Gullet ’20 spends many afternoons collecting and analyzing data in Carolina’s Institute of Trauma Recovery. Daniela Hercules Alfaro ’22 plans to learn more about the factors, both biological and social, that caused her mother’s diabetes.
Two generous contributions to the Chancellor’s Science ScholarsOpens in new window (CSS) Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will enable more students like these to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The Sherman Fairchild Foundation recently gave $10 million to the program, which is a part of the College of Arts & Sciences. The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust pledged a $5 million grant, provided the University raises an additional $10 million in matching gifts by the end of 2023.
“These gifts greatly enhance our competitiveness to recruit some of the best STEM scholars in the nation to Carolina,” said Thomas Freeman, Ph.D., CSS executive director. “We will be able to provide robust and dynamic programming to nurture their scholarly and entrepreneurial pursuits, toward our ultimate goal of shaping the next generation of leaders in science and technology.”
Designed to prepare students to pursue graduate degrees in STEM disciplines, the CSS program offers merit-based scholarships, opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research, professional development, leadership training, mentorship and other programming. Students become members of a community of scholars committed not only to individual excellence, but to challenging preconceptions of the scientist archetype and creating a more inclusive culture within the STEM academy.
Forty-five scholars have graduated from the program, Freeman said. More than half of that group has gone on to pursue an advanced degree in a STEM program. “And thanks to the contributions from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and Kenan Charitable Trust, we welcomed a cohort of 40 scholars in 2018,” he added. “We are very grateful to be able to attract top students to Carolina to become Chancellor’s Science Scholars.”
More support is needed to sustain the program, including matching gifts, to enable it to continue attracting top students.
All contributions to the Chancellor’s Science Scholars support the Carolina Edge, a Signature Initiative in For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history.