ExxonMobil Recognized for Transformational Investments in LSU

11/11/2014 09:02 AM

BATON ROUGE – LSU students, faculty and staff joined ExxonMobil employees on Friday, Nov. 7, for an event celebrating the company’s longtime support of LSU. ExxonMobil is among the most generous donors to LSU, having invested millions of dollars in programs campus-wide through both focused corporate gifts and the ExxonMobil Foundation 3-to-1 matching of employees’ and retirees’ donations to colleges and units of their choice.

The Nov. 7 event highlighted the corporation’s investments in ExxonMobil’s Engineering Diversity Scholars Program; the LSU Gordon A. Cain Center for Scientific, Technological, Engineering and Mathematical Literacy; and the LSU College of Science, including its GeauxTeach Math/Science teacher preparation program. LSU Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Stuart Bell and ExxonMobil Foundation Executive Director Pat McCarthy, an LSU alumnus, hosted guests including students who have directly benefitted from ExxonMobil’s support.

Since 2003, the company has committed $750,000 to the ExxonMobil Scholars Program. This is a unique, mentorship-centered approach to scholarship that provides students from underrepresented groups access to a network of industry professionals who are committed to ensuring their time at LSU is a success. The program is a collaborative effort between ExxonMobil and LSU’s College of Engineering to encourage and assist talented minority students to complete a degree in engineering and continue on to a science, technology, engineering or math, STEM, career.

“ExxonMobil’s continued investment in the third phase of the ExxonMobil Scholars Program champions our diversity initiatives to place more talented and diverse graduates in STEM-related fields,” said Rick Koubek, LSU College of Engineering dean.

In addition to financial support, ExxonMobil Scholars benefit from ongoing one-on-one mentorship from ExxonMobil employees. ExxonMobil Scholars consistently identify the mentor-protégé relationship as key to their success at LSU and welcome the opportunity to give back once they embark on their professional careers. Additionally, ExxonMobil contributes to professional and personal development programs and events through the college to help the scholars gain a better understanding of critical skills required by engineering professionals.

Scholars are selected from a pool of applicants and awarded based on proven superior academic performance, early engineering or science exposure, leadership participation and community outreach efforts. Preference is given to African-American, Hispanic or Native American students, and they must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average to remain in the program.

“A unique aspect – and a real strength – of the scholarship program is the commitment mentors have to interact with the students on an individual basis to share their college experiences and provide professional career advice,” said ExxonMobil chemical engineer and LSU alumna Del Dugas. “At ExxonMobil, we believe this program helps ensure the students are equipped to have a successful and rewarding future in the engineering field.”

ExxonMobil’s investment in the program has allowed more than 50 students to pursue degrees in STEM-related careers through mentorship and financial support. Scholar graduates have earned a 3.44 cumulative GPA.

ExxonMobil’s generosity also supports K-12 STEM teachers and students pursuing careers teaching in the STEM areas, specifically through its giving to the LSU Gordon A. Cain Center for Scientific, Technological, Engineering and Mathematical Literacy and the College of Science.

Last year, ExxonMobil announced a Transforming Schools through STEM partnership with LSU’s Cain Center that strengthens the center’s work with teachers in local schools. Specifically, three schools in North Baton Rouge – Scotlandville High School, Scotlandville Middle School and Progress Elementary School – benefit from the Cain Center’s support in deepening STEM teachers’ conceptual understandings of the content they teach; establishing well-defined STEM professional learning communities to build teaching capacity and develop an infrastructure of ongoing support among faculty and administrators; offering various interventions and activities to attract students to STEM; and measuring performance and program impact through several methods of evaluation.

ExxonMobil was also a key partner in LSU successfully meeting the National Math and Science Initiative’s challenge to raise $1 million in endowed funds to sustain and grow the College of Science’s GeauxTeach Math/Science teacher preparation program. NMSI matched the gifts of donors including ExxonMobil, resulting in a total endowment of $2 million for the program.

“We are grateful to have such a committed industry partner as ExxonMobil,” said Cynthia Peterson, LSU College of Science dean. “Their investment in the GeauxTeach program has helped us make significant contributions to increasing the number and quality of math and science teachers in Louisiana. In just four years, more than 130 students will have graduated from the GeauxTeach Math/Science program, and over 70 percent of these graduates will be teaching science and math in Louisiana schools.”

GeauxTeach Math/Science students can pursue a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, chemistry, mathematics or physics while concurrently pursuing a secondary education certification. The program places students in K-12 classrooms as early as their freshman year and provides more intense field experiences in their junior and senior years.

GeauxTeach Math/Science graduates are well prepared both in their subject matter and ability to transfer that knowledge to their students. A community of master and mentor teachers shares the responsibility of preparing GeauxTeach Math/Science students for the rigors of the classroom. The mentor teachers guide the students in their field experiences, where they work together to design unique and relevant classroom experiences. LSU math, science and education researchers guide the students’ learning of content and pedagogy.

LSU leads its peer NMSI institutions in recruitment, drawing an average of 125 GeauxTeach Math/Science recruits annually, compared to 80 at other NMSI universities.

About LSU’s College of Engineering
Founded in 1908, the LSU College of Engineering offers 11 undergraduate degree programs and confers approximately 650 bachelor’s degrees per year, ranking it in the top 10 percent nationally for graduates. In 2014, it became the largest academic college at LSU, the largest engineering program in Louisiana and the 18th largest in the nation. One-hundred and forty-four faculty members engage in education, research and commercialization with a strategic focus on research indigenous to Louisiana: energy, manufacturing, natural & built infrastructure, computation and biotechnology. For more information on LSU’s College of Engineering, visit eng.lsu.edu.

About LSU’s College of Science
The LSU College of Science is an international leader in scientific research and instruction, elevating LSU to the highest level of excellence among major research universities in the U.S. and abroad. The college consists of five academic departments including biological sciences, chemistry, geology & geophysics, mathematics, and physics & astronomy, and the LSU Museum of Natural Science. Seven major fields of study and more than 20 concentrations are available to LSU students interested in pursuing a science major at LSU. College of Science students make up nearly half of the LSU’s top graduates. The college is also the top producer of African American and women Ph.D. graduates in the nation. For more information on LSU’s College of Science, visit science.lsu.edu.

About ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. In 2013, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $269 million in contributions worldwide, of which $110 million was dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contributions programs is available at exxonmobil.com/community.

Louisiana Innovation Month
Developed by the Louisiana Innovation Council in partnership with Louisiana Economic Development, regional and local economic development agencies, and higher education institutions across the state, Louisiana Innovation Month is a celebration of business creativity and innovation for the entire State of Louisiana. Innovation Month provides the opportunity to coordinate efforts among these partners and position them as catalysts for the development of a more diverse knowledge-sector based economy. Follow the hashtag #LouisianaInnovation for more on innovation in the state.

Sara  Crow 
LSU Foundation

Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014