BATON ROUGE – Recent participants in the LSU Summer Scholars program joined representatives of Marathon Petroleum Corporation, or MPC; LSU faculty and staff; and members of the LSU Corporate and Foundation Relations team to celebrate MPC’s latest philanthropic commitment to the university at the LSU Union on Feb. 6, 2017.
MPC is providing $150,000 over the course of three years to fund students majoring in engineering and construction management in LSU University College’s Summer Scholars program. Summer Scholars is an eight-week summer bridge program designed for the recruitment and retention of underrepresented, minority high school graduates who are enrolled at LSU.
“MPC is proud to provide encouragement and opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue their educational and professional goals,” said Rod Nichols, senior vice president, Human Resources and Administrative Services for MPC. “The Summer Scholars program is a proven means to help students prepare and excel during their time at LSU and MPC is excited to be a part of this opportunity.”
“University College is fortunate to have expanded corporate support for our Summer Scholars program,” said R. Paul Ivey, executive director of LSU University College. “This summer bridge program nurtures some of our entering minority freshmen to become secure in their transition to college. For our STEM students, this transition can be the impetus to developing the skills and personal self-discipline to excel in their studies and lead them to a successful technical career. Marathon Petroleum Company has recognized the effectiveness of our Summer Scholars program and has made a commitment to assist us in growing our number of participants in the coming years. We pledge to do our part in preparing these young adults for careers that may well lead them to positions with companies like Marathon Petroleum Company.”
With the Class of 2017, Summer Scholars will celebrate its 26th anniversary, transforming the lives of more than 950 student scholars and creating a community of under-represented, minority scholars like no other. MPC’s support of Summer Scholars has life-changing impact on students, helping them to find a place to fit in and build the academic, personal and social skills that will help them transition from high school to college.
“MPC is passionate about supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus and in the workforce, and we know LSU shares that passion,” said Jaime De La Cruz, manager, Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Management for MPC. “Our partnership with LSU’s Summer Scholars program will not only help underrepresented students achieve academic goals, but also help them realize dreams – and we couldn’t be more excited to begin.”
Summer Scholar participants are able to connect to a family of support and structure that allows them to consistently outperform all other minority and LSU freshman students in rankings, including end of first-year LSU cumulative GPA, second and third year retention, as well as four-year and six-year graduation rates.
“As coordinator of the Summer Scholars program, I have noticed one central theme ‘loyalty,” said Annette Yancy. “The motto, ‘Once a Scholar, Always a Scholar’ resounds deeply in the hearts of every scholar from the first cohort in 1991 to the most recent cohort. They are the leaders on this campus, both academically and in student organizations.”
Yancy continued, “The Summer Scholars program experience is one of validation. This is crucial on a campus where you are a minority. The scholars are taught that this is their campus, and they were selected because they are the brightest, the best. Their summer experience allows them to get acclimated to campus life. They learn about all of the resources in place to assist them academically and socially. Summer Scholars is a great program; it’s a prescription for success!”
Students participate in Summer Scholars during the summer prior to their freshman year at LSU. The program provides a structured environment conducive to building the fundamental skills necessary to enhance the likelihood of successful completion of a baccalaureate degree.
“Summer Scholars helps students pursue their dream of coming to LSU,” said Riad Elkhanoufi, chemical engineering major, president, Summer Scholars Class of 2014, and recipient of the Leonard Johnson Book Award. “The program has Tiger Exploration talks where various speakers share with us specifics of their industry and resources to help us in our lives at the university. The program provided me the opportunity to get one step ahead of the game.”
About University College
Since 1933, LSU University College has served as the portal of entry for students enrolled at LSU. Academic and personal success is the hallmark of a well-rounded student, and University College provides a foundation of support services for students beginning their academic careers at LSU. University College has two enrollment divisions: The Center for Freshman Year and The Center for Advising and Counseling. Additionally, University College offers retention-specific programs: Student Support Services, Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars, and Summer Scholars, and hosts Phi Eta Sigma, a national honor society rewarding first-collegiate-year scholarship. These academic support programs focus on particular student populations and are a significant part of the role and mission of University College.
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LSU University College
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