In the Fall of 2017, The Hearst Foundations awarded Clarkson $75,000 to be used toward William Randolph Hearst Honors Scholarships for high-achieving, underrepresented transfer students. The first two students, Ursan Tchouteng Njike and Maria Isabel Alexander Rodriguez, were given scholarships of $7,500 this year, which helps Clarkson cover their full cost of attendance for the final two years of school. As part of the process, the students participated in the Honors Summer Research Program before matriculating at Clarkson.
Njike is a first-generation college student who was born in Cameroon and became a U.S. Citizen through a lottery process. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Montgomery Community College in Takoma Park, Maryland and was personally recommended to Clarkson by the Director of the Honors Program there. Before matriculating at Clarkson, Njike did Summer Research under Dr. Brian Helenbrook on a computational analysis of the feasibility of a novel freeze desalination process. Njike spent his free time getting to know other Honors students and researchers from CUPO (Community of Underrepresented Student Opportunities), and he is now an active member in the Clarkson community.
Rodriguez is also a first generation college student. She hails from Bolivia and holds an Associate Degree in Engineering Science from Monroe Community College, where she was on the Dean’s list. During her time at MCC, Rodriguez was a Student Representative on the Board of Trustees, Vice-President of the Society of Women Engineers, and Student Aide at the Human Performance Lab. Rodriguez also participated in the Summer Research Program before matriculating at Clarkson. She worked for two summers under Dr. Michelle Crimi on the remediation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in contaminated groundwater sources. Rodriguez continues to research this topic into her first semester at Clarkson.
Currently, Jon Goss, the Director of the Honors Program at Clarkson, is recruiting for three more scholarship recipients/transfer students for the next academic year.