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Seventy UMass Lowell undergraduate and graduate students in plastics engineering recently received financial support from 26 endowed scholarship funds for the academic year 2008ߝ09. The monetary values vary, but most of the scholarships are in the range of $1,000 per academic year.
“These funds have been created through the generosity of our alumni, corporate partners and even members of the plastics engineering faculty,” says department Chair Robert Malloy. He credits the program’s success to the efforts of the University’s Office of Advancement in working with the community in establishing these funds, which awards scholarships annually in perpetuity. About 20 percent of the recipients are students from other countries, including India, Indonesia, Thailand and Israel.
“We know many of our students struggle financially, many of them ending up working an excessive number of hours,” says Malloy. “This really hurts their ability to do well in courses and impacts our retention rates. Scholarship support is one way to limit the number of hours students work.”
Melissa Seeley, a 21-year-old plastics engineering junior from Hampstead, N.H., agrees. “It’s so hard to come up with money while in school,” says Seeley, who was given funds from the James Dandeneau ’79 Family Scholarship. “Personally, I play field hockey, which gives some financial scholarship as well, but adding field hockey to an already busy schedule makes it even more difficult for me to work. That’s why my parents and I really appreciate the scholarship from the Dandeneau family, which helps pay for my tuition. Luckily, I’ve been able to earn this award every year.” She expects to graduate in 2009.
“I’m very honored to have received the Eamonn Hobbs ’80 Family Scholarship,” says Tewksbury senior Alison Dischino. “Anything that can help pay for tuition is very much appreciated.” Dischino, who is scheduled to graduate this May, plans to pursue her master’s degree at the University.
“Raising funds for scholarships is one of our departmental priorities,” says Malloy. “My dream would be to provide scholarships for all plastics engineering students who maintain an appropriate GPA.”
For more information about the department’s undergraduate scholarship opportunities, visit the plastics website.