Siemens’ CSR national initiative awards scholarships to students in historically black colleges and universities

ISELIN, N.J.– The Siemens Foundation announced the winners of the 2010 Siemens Teacher Scholarship today in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The CSR program from Siemens provides scholarships to students enrolled in the nation’s public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities who are pursuing teaching careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The program provides scholars with a fun, laboratory-style teaching opportunity through the Siemens Foundation’s Siemens Science Day program, a nationwide initiative in partnership with Discovery Education that has reached more than 54,000 elementary and middle school students in 36 states since its inception in 2006. This year’s scholars taught classrooms from New York to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“We know the value of good teachers, and we’re committed to encouraging scholars who want to teach vital STEM subjects,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, Vice President of the Siemens Foundation and graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. “Our Siemens Teacher Scholars have shown the type of enthusiasm and drive in science and technology that will inspire our next generation of innovators to pursue their dreams.”

Mehrin Gadit, a senior Biology/Secondary Education major at York College, City University of New York, visited P.S. 120 in New York City to conduct her Siemens Science Day with fourth graders. “This was my first time interacting with students of this age, better yet my first time teaching them,” she said. Mehrin’s experiment helped students gain an understanding of how botanists define fruits, and about plant reproduction. “It is great that students get to exercise science by doing and discovering their own knowledge, instead of teachers lecturing to them. Inquiry-based lessons open up the mind of the student, letting them explore their options,” she said.

“The Siemens Foundation’s investment in increasing the pipeline of highly-qualified minority teachers in STEM fields directly addresses the national call to higher education to produce the caliber of students that will shape the future,” said Dr. N. Joyce Payne, Founder, Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “Thurgood Marshall College Fund is proud to join efforts with the Siemens Foundation that has a long history of support of excellence in education, particularly in science and mathematics.”

Morayo Adebiyi, a junior biology major at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, described her Siemens Science Day at nearby middle school: “I purposely targeted a school where the students were not performing well in the areas of science and math. My idea was to help these students develop a passion for these subjects and allow them to apply what they learned to their everyday lives.” Morayo’s activity helped students learn about elasticity and kinetic energy. Students learned how the height from which a ball is dropped affects how high it bounces. Students also learned about averaging and graphing. She brought a basketball to class so that the students could apply these topics to a game they all know and love. “This experience allowed me to be aware of the immediate need for passionate teachers in my community,” she said.

A complete list of the 2010 Siemens Teacher Scholarship recipients follows:

Alabama A&M University
Britney White (Mathematics)

Alabama State University
Deshawn Sutton (Biology)
Hartrice Walker (Special Education)

Benedict College
Tinika Jacobs (Elementary Education)

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
Charles Yongu (Elementary Education)

Claflin University
Tiasha Jones (Chemistry)
Walter Lee (Middle-Level Education)
April McPherson (Mathematics Education)
Devin Washington (Middle-Level Education)
Robert Platts (Mathematics Education)

Elizabeth City State University
Tiwana Walton (Mathematics Education)

Florida Memorial University
Ingrid Louis (Elementary Education)

Harris – Stowe State University
Deontrel Brownlee (Secondary Education)
Mary Davis (Elementary Education)
Michael Roessler (Secondary Mathematics)
Rico Smith (Teacher Education – Mathematics)
Lorinda Weinrich (Biology, Secondary Science)

Jackson State University
Zackery Hodge (Elementary Education)
Dzondria Tarver (Elementary Education)

Langston University
Aleshia Richardson (Mathematics Education)

LeMoyne-Owen College
Kimberly Nailor (Education)

Norfolk State University
Candace Myrick (Education)

North Carolina Central University
Tremain Holloway (Mathematics Secondary Education)
Timothy McAllister (Elementary Education)

Spelman College
Morayo Adebiyi (Biology)
Brittany Harris (Biology)
Monique Merritt (Biology)

University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Phylicia Gibbs (Mathematics Education)

University of the Virgin Islands
Rhashaunda Charles (Elementary Education)
Daniella Henry (Education)

Winston-Salem State University
Kari Dixon (Mathematics)

York College, City University of New York
Jasmaine Calizaire (Education)
Mehrin Gadit (Biology, Secondary Education)