From left: Gerald Intemann, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs; James Platz, representing Siemens Industry, Inc., Building Technologies; IUP President Tony Atwater; Terry Carter, vice president for University Relations and executive director of the Foundation for IUP. The photo was taken during the IUP Legacy Gala in Pittsburgh in April. (Keith Boyer photo)
IUP has received a $30,000 donation from Siemens Industry, Inc., to establish a fund for undergraduate research in the sciences.
The fund will be known as the Siemens Fund for Undergraduate Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
“This generous gift will complement other major program initiatives devoted to engaging IUP students in undergraduate research,” Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president, said. “It is gratifying that a focus of this gift is undergraduate research in science, technology, engineering, and math. I am confident that this gift will enrich the academic experience of many students for years to come.”
Siemens provides support of educational initiatives in these disciplines across United States. This mission is based on a culture of innovation, research, and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens’ U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. With five divisions and three subsidiary companies, Siemens Industry has 33,000 employees and 480 locations in the United States.
The Siemens Fund for Undergraduate Research in STEM will provide individual awards to support the research activities of undergraduate students in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, according to Dr. Mary Lou Zanich, interim dean of the college.
“Research done by IUP undergraduates is of high quality, a fact evident in the selection of five IUP students in the past eight years as Goldwater scholars, the most prestigious national science award for undergraduate students,” Zanich said.
“The Siemens fund will enable us to provide greater support to students as they develop advanced professional skills and become skilled scientific problems solvers capable of addressing the many challenges of life in the twenty-first century. This is part of the mission of the college. We are very grateful for this commitment from Siemens that will significantly assist us in meeting this mission.”
The Siemens fund will be used in two primary ways, Zanich said: to help support the costs of doing research and to help support travel to professional conferences where research findings may be shared.
“In many departments, students engage in research activities as part of accreditation requirements, to meet the requirements of honors programs or simply to advance their skills,” she said. “Often, these projects require supplies, equipment or access to specialized computer databases.”
In March, two Geoscience students presented their research on paleoceanographic evolution and climatic conditions at the 2009 Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union in Toronto. Later this month, a Biochemistry major will present her research on analysis of Ribonucleic acid in a plant pathenogenic fungus at the 2010 National Conference on Undergraduate Education in Missoula, Mont.
Other current IUP student research in the STEM disciplines includes the analysis of factors that affect the ability of specific devices to filter out contaminants in water resulting from pollutants like pesticides or contaminated acid mine drainage; determining an optimal concentration of monoclonal antibodies to study further the relationship of certain oncogenes and prostate cancer; and a cross-cultural comparison of the effects of homelessness on young adults who have “aged out” of foster care.