Boyce Thompson Institute leadership provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in STEM  

by | Aug 3, 2018

The Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) is honored to announce the awarding of four, $1,000 scholarships to first-generation college students from Groton, Ithaca, Lansing and Newfield. One student from each school was chosen based on their intention to study a STEM-related field at a two or four-year school. Priority has been given to first-generation college students, or those facing other barriers to success.

These scholarships were personally sponsored by members of the BTI senior leadership team, as part of an incentive program to encourage workplace participation in the BTI’s annual fundraising campaign. “Fundraising is a fairly new idea at BTI,” says VP for Institutional Advancement, Stephanie Meyer, “By encouraging staff and researchers to participate and help us spread the word about BTI’s needs and mission, we can collectively achieve institutional goals, and also have a really positive impact on the communities that our staff and researchers live in.”  Meyer, for example, pledged a $500 scholarship to a Lansing student if 12 staff or board members became Fundraising Champions on the GiveGab platform. Eric Richards, former VP of Research, Sophia Darling, VP of Finance and Operations, and Vanessa Greenlee, former Director of Executive Affairs, each made similar pledges connected to various internal incentives, including things like monetary goals and social mediashares. When all of the goals were met, David Stern matched each of the pledges, making the local scholarships worth $1000 each.

One of the scholarship recipients is Dylan Kotmel of Ithaca High School. Dylan will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology in the Fall, pursuing a degree in engineering.

“While it’s hard to put my gratitude into words, I’ll simply say thank you.” said Kotmel. “I’m honored that I was not only considered for the scholarship, but also chosen to receive it. It is going to be a great help with resources next year in college. I’m so excited to go to RIT in August!”

Over the past two years, ten scholarships have been offered to students at various area high schools. Earlier this year, former BTI board Chair, Laura Philips, and an anonymous donor teamed up to award an additional $5,000 scholarship to a student from Butte High School in Butte, Montana. Butte is the alma mater of BTI founder, William Boyce Thompson, who was the first in his family to attend college. The anonymous donor was randomly chosen by BTI to choose which high school should receive a $1000 scholarship sponsored by Laura Philips, in celebration of BTI achieving all of its fundraising goals for 2017.


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