by Daria Purdy ’19
Three Providence College students have been chosen as recipients of scholarships that let them further their interests and passions above and beyond the classroom. Bianca Saliba ’18 and Emma Burgess ’18 are recipients of the Clare Boothe Luce scholarship, and Phoebee Jean ’19 has been chosen as a Newman Civic Fellow.
The Clare Boothe Luce scholarship has been giving grants to college students since 1989. The program exclusively gives grants to female students with a declared major in science, mathematics, or engineering. Clare Boothe Luce, the woman that the scholarship program is named after, was a playwright, journalist, U.S. ambassador to Italy, and the first woman from Connecticut to be elected to Congress. Boothe founded the scholarship program in order to “encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering. Since its inauguration in 1989, the program has supported more than 1900 women.
Providence College has received a grant from the Clare Boothe Luce program that will allow it to give eight scholarships to female students in the fields of chemistry, applied physics, mathematics, or computer science. Two scholarships will be given each year, beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year and concluding in the 2020-2021 academic year. Each student chosen will receive a full tuition and fees scholarship, a paid summer research experience, and an academic year research for credit.
Each Clare Boothe Luce scholar will be responsible for being active in their department and connecting with other STEM students, presenting their academic research, and attending recruitment events for prospective students. Each recipient will be required to complete a service project through their own initiative or through the Providence After School Alliance.
Saliba, a chemistry major, says, “I applied for the scholarship because, besides for the obvious perks of free tuition and a summer job, I also loved the idea of getting more involved with women in STEM. Being both a feminist and a scientist, it is important to me to empower women in this field that has been heavily male-dominated since the beginning.” Saliba plans to conduct research in organic chemistry with Dr. Seann Mulcahy and his research team throughout her senior year and the summer. Looking towards the future, Saliba says, “receiving this scholarship has boosted my confidence in myself and my abilities tremendously, which I think will benefit me in my future endeavors by allowing me to believe in myself and have no fear of rejection or new experiences.”
Burgess is an applied physics major, and says that her advisor introduced her to the scholarship and encouraged her to apply. “I’m going to continue the computational project I’ve been working on with Dr. Ashman this summer and the following year,” Burgess says. “We’ve been working on calculating the lifetimes for individual ro-vibrational levels for an Na2 dimer.” Burgess believes that the scholarship will bring her great experience in the lab, that she can incorporate into her future research and endeavors.
In addition to the Clare Boothe Luce scholarship, the Newman Civic Fellowship is also a gateway for PC students to get involved with their community. Newman Civic Fellows are nominated by the college, and the students nominated are those that have demonstrated commitment to finding solutions to challenges their community faces. The students who are nominated are expected to become public problem solvers and civic leaders. Jean, a health policy and management major, was nominated for the fellowship through the Feinstein Institute and Fr. Shanley.
The Fellowship program lasts for one year and gives students training and resources for community involvement through mentorship, working with peers, and critical self-reflection. Jean says throughout the year “I will attend conferences and seminars with other fellows where we will learn about how to work for social change in the communities we serve. We will learn how to solve systematic injustices at the root and empower community members to help themselves.”
Both the Clare Boothe Luce program and the Newman Civic Fellowship support PC students who desire to share their passions with others. Through the two programs, the academic experience of students at PC is enhanced and expanded to the surrounding community.