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The Henry Luce Foundation’s Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program for Women in STEM has awarded a $294,000 grant to Emmanuel College in support of 24 CBL undergraduate research awards in chemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, and mathematics.

In conjunction with the Women in Science at Emmanuel (WISE) initiative, this generous grant will enable the College and its faculty to build upon its commitment to advancing women in STEM fields by significantly expanding upon hands-on research opportunities.

Since its very founding more than 100 years ago, Emmanuel College has been committed to excellence in the sciences, first for women and then expanding to men when it became a coeducational institution in 2001. Today, we are focused on the fact that women continue to be underrepresented in the STEM fields.

Emmanuel College Provost Josef Kurtz

Through the CBL program, students will apply for one-year awards as introductory researchers or research leaders, depending on experience level. All research scholars can reapply in subsequent years, and scholars continuing in the program will see progressively increasing responsibilities and opportunities, including welcoming and mentoring new CBL research scholars. All CBL research scholars also will be accepted into an intensive, year-long Women in Science at Emmanuel (WISE) program that includes leadership training, one-on-one mentorship, and exclusive seminars and workshops. College-wide WISE initiatives also include networking events, alumni panels, and dedicated internship opportunities.

“This grant is an amazing opportunity for our students, specifically women interested in pursuing careers in STEM industry, research or academia. The Henry Luce Foundation, through the Clare Boothe Luce grants, is working to develop greater inclusivity for women in STEM in fields where they are traditionally underrepresented,” said Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Program Director Michelle Watt. “Like our students, I was lucky to be supported by women peers in my chemistry programs, but that doesn’t always translate to longer-term careers in these fields or the recognition we deserve for our work.”

Emmanuel College’s robust research programs set up many young researchers for future success. Established research projects across disciplines will benefit greatly and CBL researchers will be able to work closely with experienced faculty mentors.

Allen Price, Associate Professor of Physics

Five CBL faculty mentors in the Department of Chemistry & Physics lead active research groups in organic, inorganic, analytical, and computational chemistry, as well as biophysics. In mathematics, four CBL faculty mentors conduct research with undergraduates in the areas of applied mathematics, graph theory, statistics, and mathematics education. One CBL faculty mentor is in the biology department and runs a bioinformatics lab focused on using mathematical and biostatistical models to analyze and understand cancer genomes.

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., the Luce Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art, and public policy.

Clare Boothe Luce (1903–1987) was a trailblazer in the arts, journalism and public affairs. Through her bequest, which provides support to women in STEM fields in which they are underrepresented, the Henry Luce Foundation has become the nation’s single largest private source of funding in higher education for women in science, mathematics and engineering. The Foundation advances work to close the gender gap in STEM disciplines and across leadership roles in higher education.